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Koitsu Ishiwata was born in Tokyo in 1897 as Shoichiro Ishiwata. He began his career studying design, fabric dyeing, and Japanese-style painting. By the 1920s, he had earned a reputation as fabric designer working for Yokohama’s Nozawaya department store. It was none other than Hasui Kawase, a leader of the shin hanga, or new print, movement,that spurred Koistu’s shift to the woodblock medium. In 1930, Koitsu dedicated himself to the print medium and assumed his name. In 1931, he produced neighborhood genre scenes for the famed shin hanga publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. Koitsu’s later series include Collection of Pictures of Toys (c.1935) and Hot Spring Landscapes (c.1940), as well as several works that combined woodblock and stencil techniques published by Junji Kato.
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