Goyo Hashiguchi (1880-1921)

At a Hot Springs Inn

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Goyo Hashiguchi (1880-1921)
At a Hot Springs Inn
Woodblock Print
Designed 1920
9.6" x 17"
Goyo ga
Very good color, impression and state


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About the art

With its elegant design and expressive artistry, this print is highly sought after. The figure of the young woman is nearly monochromatic, her kimono the same tone as her skin. Her red lips and a glimpse of the red obi serve as eye-catching pops of color. Because the woman and kimono are the same pale color, she stands out vividly from the background of colorful foliage and flowers.  This print is especially significant because it is the last work Goyō supervised while on his deathbed. The completed work was printed after 1949.  Key block carver: Masazo Koike.  Color block carver: Kentaro Maeda.  Printer: Koichi Hirai. Reverse a collection seal 

About the artist

Japanese artist Goyo Hashiguchi (né Kiyoshi Hashiguchi) was born in Kagoshima to Kanemitsu Hashiguchi, a samurai and a Shijo-style painter. It is said that the five-needle pine (goyo no matsu) in his father’s garden inspired Goyo’s artist name. He began his career in Kano painting at age 10, moving to Tokyo in 1899 to study with the leading Kano painter Gaho Hashimoto. He soon shifted to Western-style painting under Seiki Kuroda at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, graduating at the top of his class in 1905. Shortly thereafter, the prominent Tokyo woodblock print publisher Watanabe convinced him to become a Japanese woodblock artist. Watanabe published Goyo’s first woodblock print, Nude After Bathing in 1915. His sensitive portrayal of women in a delicate, serene and infinitely graceful mode led to his immediate popularity. This mastery of line and composition is equally apparent in his tender drawings. These drawings are extremely scarce.


Goyo Hashiguchi, an active perfectionist, was not satisfied with Watanabe’s workmanship and consequently set up his own workshop. As a Japanese woodblock artist, his standards were so high that he rarely allowed his editions to run more than eighty prints. This decision resulted in some of the most technically superb woodblock prints to be produced since the late 18th century.


On February 24, 1921, Goyo died from an ear infection, the aftermath of a severe case of influenza. His death at so early an age was a tragedy to the art world. Goyo’s entire artistic career spanned 15 short years, of which only the last five were as a Japanese woodblock artist. He completed only 14 prints. At his death, Goyo left many works in various stages of completion. Some were all but finished, with full-color proofs already completed; for others, the key block impressions had been taken, and still others had barely progressed beyond the preliminary sketches. Members of Goyo’s family brought these unfinished materials to fruition.

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