Sumo Wrestler

by Gihachiro Okuyama (1907 - 1981)

Current Status

Sumo Wrestler by Gihachiro Okuyama (1907 - 1981)

Original Gihachiro Okuyama (1907 - 1981) Japanese Woodblock Print
Sumo Wrestler

Gihachiro Okuyama - A prolific artist, Gihachiro Okuyama was active in both the shin-hanga and sosaku hanga traditions starting in the late 1920s. While he was studying traditional Japanese printmaking, he earned a living creating woodblock prints for advertising, including posters and labels. In 1946, he established the short-lived publishing firm Nihon Hanga Kenkushiyo (Japan Print Institute) to promote woodblocks after WWII. Specializing in reprints of famous ukiyo-e designs, the company dissolved in 1948. In 1954, he opened his own printing studio, called Okuyama Hanga Kobo, to design, carve, and publish his own works. His sosaku hanga prints have a more abstract quality than his idealized shin-hanga scenes, experimenting with values and gradations of color, including a group of monochromatic works in black and white. His landscape subjects range from sweeping vistas to more intimate village scenes and the bustling life of the city. A very versatile and creative artist, Okuyama's striking scenic prints are a wonderful choice for a modern collector.

Gihachiro Okuyama's Sumo Portraits - We recently acquired a group of sumo prints by Gihachiro Okuyama, an unusual subject for the artist, who is best known for his shin-hanga landscapes and sosaku hanga works. These perceptive portraits sensitively capture the features and characters of the wrestlers, and are drawn with delicate line work that creates an interesting contrast with the bold, muscular figures. One of the wrestlers in the series, Terukuni Manzo, was promoted to the highest rank of yokozuna in 1942 and retired in 1953, while Minanogawa Tozo was promoted to yokuzuna in 1935 and retired in 1942, so the prints may have been created in the 1940s or 1950s. These designs are rarely seen. A fascinating group of portraits demonstrating Gihachiro's many talents as an artist, and a nice choice for a collector interested in this ancient Japanese sport.

Artist - Gihachiro Okuyama (1907 - 1981)

Image Size - 6 3/4" x 9" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Slight paper remnants on reverse at corners from previous mounting. Slight toning, a few spots, a few small creases at corners, small indent in margin. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

Sumo Wrestler by Gihachiro Okuyama (1907 - 1981)
Sumo Wrestler by Gihachiro Okuyama (1907 - 1981)

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