Yoshitoshi Mori (1898 - 1992)

Yoshitoshi Mori is the dean of Japan's modern printmakers, and his contributions to the art are almost legendary. In addition to being one of the world's supreme printmakers, he was also an outstanding creator of design for fabrics. He was born in Tokyo and had an academic art training at the Kawabata School of Fine Arts. After graduating from the art school, Mori became a textile designer and dyer of kimono fabrics. When Mori made his first print, he was nearly sixty years old. He had numerous one-man shows in Japan in the 60's. In 1966, Mori mounted a traveling show in America sponsored by The Japan Society, New York. Between 1957 and 1977 he participated in 30 International Exhibitions and group shows. His works have been shown in New York, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Pasadena, San Diego, Honolulu, Mexico City, Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Barcelona, and Melbourne. In 1984 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Maryland University. In 1991 he was honored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for his long years of meritorious service.

Mori used his extraordinary gifts as an artist to create works that depict the popular side of Japanese life. Craftsmen at work, drunken bearers carrying a portable shrine on festival day, famous Kabuki actors caught in the noted postures of their roles, great historical personages (such as Lady Murasaki, author of The Tale of Genji, the world's first novel), and scenes from Japanese folk tales are only some of the subjects that Mori has chosen to illustrate. Often he employs stencils in creating his designs, and always his prints are full of exuberant energy, befitting the themes that he is presenting to our enchanted eyes. 

His final one-man show was held at Wako Gallery Tokyo, in 1992. Mori died immediately after the show on May 29th, 1992. His works are represented in major museums like the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art, New York Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Honolulu Academy of Art, and the official residence of the Prime Minister of Japan.

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