Shiko Munakata

Shiko Munakata, (1903-1975)

nude in a square

sumizuri-e; signed in pencilled kanji, Shiko, and in English, Munakata, and dated (unclearly), possibly October 4, 1960, with red artist's seal

40.5 by 38 cm.

Munakata's family belong to a sect of Zen Buddhism, but his father, a blacksmith, observed many Shinto practices. This traditional upbringing permeates his work. His favorite subjects were often Buddhist or Shinto, but it is also evident in his approach to the work. He spoke of the force of natural spirits found in all around, and in the wood boards he carved: "There is a power in the board, and one cannot force the tool against that power. It is this power outside the artist, rather than any power within him, that dominates the creation of hanga" (Shiko Munakata, by Yojuro Yasuda, translated by Oliver Statler, 1958, p. 81)


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
December 2, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475