Ishikawa Toraji

Print artist. Ishikawa was born in Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. In 1891 he moved to Tokyo to study Western-style painting under Koyama Shotaro (1837-1916) at his private school called Fudosha. He was a founder-member in 1902 of the Taiheiyo-Gakai (Pacific Painting Association), which also included Yoshida Hiroshi (q.v.). Like many of that circle he travelled as a young man in the USA and Europe (1902-4). In 1904 he became an instructor at the evening institute of the Taiheiyo-Gakai and held an exhibition of his water-colours in the USA. During the Taisho era he travelled also in Korea, Taiwan and China; some of his impressions of Taiwan are found in the prints he contributed to the book ‘Shin Nihon kenbutsu’ (‘Views of New Japan’) published in 1918, for which he produced twenty-one designs, and to the advertising portfolio of four prints by four artists for this book published by Kanao Tane-jiro in 1917. He became a regular exhibitor at the Bunten and Teiten government-sponsored exhibitions, and principal of the Taiheiyo-Gakai in 1943, but resigned in 1947 to found his own Shigen-kai Society. After the Pacific War he was active in Tokyo art education. His early works are mostly of women, the later ones mostly landscapes in an Impressionist style with bright light. His output of prints was small, consisting of a few landscapes developed from paintings and the celebrated ‘Ten Nudes’ which were designed especially for woodblock printing.