Yoshida, Hiroshi (1876 - 1950 )
Hiroshi Yoshida was born in 1876. He began his artistic training with his adoptive father in Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture. Around the age of twenty, he left Kurume to study with Soritsu Tamura in Kyoto, subsequently moving to Tokyo and the tutelage of Shotaro Koyama. Yoshida studied Western-style painting, winning many exhibition prizes and making several trips to the United States, Europe and North Africa selling his watercolors and oil paintings. In 1902, he played a leading role in the organization of the Meiji Fine Arts Society into the Pacific Painting Association. His work was featured in the exhibitions of the state-sponsored Bunten and Teiten. While highly successful as an oil painter and watercolor artist, Hiroshi Yoshida turned to woodblock printmaking upon learning of the Western world’s infatuation with ukiyo-e.
Following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, Hiroshi Yoshida embarked on a tour of the United States and Europe, painting and selling his work. When he returned to Japan in 1925, he started his own workshop, specializing in landscapes inspired both by his native country and his travels abroad. Yoshida oversaw each step of the woodblock printing process—from design to publication. His career was temporarily interrupted by his sojourn as a war correspondent in Manchuria during the Pacific War. Although he designed his last woodblock print in 1946, Yoshida continued to paint with oils and watercolors up until his death in 1950.
Hiroshi Yoshida was widely traveled and knowledgeable of Western aesthetics, yet maintained an allegiance to traditional Japanese techniques and traditions. Attracted by the calmer moments of nature, his woodblock prints breathe coolness, invite meditation, and set a soft, peaceful mood. All of his lifetime prints are signed “Hiroshi Yoshida” in pencil and marked with a jizuri (self-printed) seal outside of the margin. Within the image, most prints are signed “Yoshida” with brush and ink beside a red “Hiroshi” seal.