Munakata Shikō, 'Kanaya' (Kanaya), a woodblock print

Shōwa era, AD 1964 (5/10)

From the series 'Munakata's Prints of the Tōkaidō Highway' (Tōkaidō Munakata Hanga)

Ever since the great series of views along the 'Fifty-five Stations along the Tōkaidō Highway' by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), Japanese painters and print artists had been inspired to do new and original versions. Munakata Shikō (1903-75) increased the number to sixty-two when asked to do a set for the Suruga Bank. He did another set in 1966. Here, the cone of Mt. Fuji on the horizon is reduced to a starkly geometrical shape which would have astonished Hiroshige.

Munakata experimented with various methods of colouring his prints. One way was to paint them on the back, so that the pigments showed through with a strangely intense glow. Here he applied the colours directly from the front, so strictly this is a cross between a print and a painting.

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Munakata Shikō, 'Kanaya' (Kanaya), a woodblock print

© 2001 Yoshiaki Munakata


More information


L. Smith, and V. Harris, Modern Japanese prints, 1912-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

T. Clark, 100 views of Mount Fuji (London, The British Museum Press, 2001)


Height: 630.000 mm
Width: 480.000 mm

Museum number

Asia JA 1981.7-30.012



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