Hiratsuka, Unichi (1895 - 1997 )

Unichi Hiratsuka was one of the leaders of the Sosaku Hanga movement and the teacher of Shiko Munakata. Hiratsuka was born in Matsue, Japan and his father was a shrine carpenter. Between 1935 and 1944 Hiratsuka taught the first woodblock printing class at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. In 1962, he moved to Washington D.C., where he lived for 33 years. During his time in Washington DC, he was commissioned by three Presidents to create woodblock prints of national landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the Library of Congress. These prints can now be found in the collections of the National Gallery and the Freer Gallery. He received Order of Cultural Merit from the Japanese government in 1970. In 1991, the Hiratsuka Unichi Print Museum opened in Nagano. Hiratsuka returned to Japan in 1994.

Sosaku Hanga | Post-WWII Japanese Prints