Kajita Hanko


Autumn Crop

kuchi-e (woodblock printed frontispiece); with artist's seal Hanko, 1906

12 1/4 by 8 7/8 in., 31.2 by 22.4 cm

Kajita Hanko (given name Jojiro) was the son of Kajita Masaharu, a metalsmith in Tokyo. Jojiro began studying art around the age of thirteen with Nabeta Gyokuei, initially taking the art name Gyokushu, but withdrew for a time due to an eye disease. When his condition improved he became the student of the Ishii Kenko (1847-1897), a nanga artist who had also studied Western-painting. Kenko was the father of the artists Ishii Hakutei (1882-1958) and Ishii Tsuruzo (1887-1973), both of whom were involved with the creative print movement. In 1886 Jojiro began working for an export company where he met the painter and print artist, Suzuki Kason (1860-1919). Kajiro took the art name Hanko in the same year. In April 1898 he married the novelist Kitada Usurai (1868-1900), but she died a little over two years later in November of 1900 from tuberculosis at the age of only twenty-four.

His early work included Sino-Japanese war triptychs in 1896, and in 1899 he began designing sashi-e (inserts) for the Yomiuri shimbun newspaper which led to designing kuchi-e for novels. He was an active member of various painting groups, and starting in 1902 he began heading a study group and private art school for the study of life drawing called Hakkokai (Or Byakkokai) that attracted participation from the famous nihonga painter Maeda Seison (1885-1977), kuchi-e artists such Tsutsui Toshimine (1863-1934) and Yamanaka Kodo (1869-1945), as well as Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878-1972) and Uehara Konen (1878-1940), both of whom would play a role in the shin-hanga movement.

Helen Merritt, and Nanako Yamada, Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints: Reflections of Meiji Culture, 2000, pp. 201-203 (artist's biography)
Nanako Yamada, Mokuhan Kuchi-e (Survey of Woodblock Kuchi-e Prints), 2009, p. 246
National Museum of Asian Art, Robert O. Muller Collection (Sackler Gallery) accession no. S2003.8.427

(inv. no. C-3270)

price: $350


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site last updated
October 14, 2021

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