Yamaguchi Susumu (山口進) (Biographical details)

Yamaguchi Susumu (山口進) (printmaker; Japanese; Male; 1897 - 1983)

Also known as

Yamaguchi Susumu

Biography

Print artist. Yamaguchi was born in Nagano Prefecture and remained devoted to the mountains all his life. As a boy he taught himself woodblock printing. He went to Tokyo in 1920 and until 1922 studied Western-style painting, when he began to work as an art teacher and school counsellor and also tried running a hostel for impoverished men from the country. He exhibited at many different sorts of exhibitions (oil-paintings, water-colours, cartoons, prints), but from 1920 was already being accepted for the Creative Print Association shows and contributed to a number of 'Sosaku Hanga' magazines. Forty-nine of his prints were chosen for the Paris exhibition of 1934 and sold very well. This determined him to specialise in prints from then on. He was evacuated at the very end of the Pacific War back to his home district, where he remained and took up farming, continued producing prints, and was very active in the promotion of local art education. His prints of the mountains proved very popular with foreigners, especially after he was featured in Statler's 'Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn' (1956). His views of mountains have some similarities to those of his close friend Azechi Umetaro (q.v.) but are more forbidding. His technique was characterised by very dense colours achieved by repeated printings on thick paper, using much water.

Bibliography

Smith, Lawrence, 'Modern Japanese Prints 1912-1989: Woodblocks and Stencils', BMP, London, 1994, pp. 37-8 and no. 86.
Kato, Junzo (ed.), 'Kindai Nihon hanga taikei', II, Mainichi Shinbun, Tokyo, 1975, nos 89-95 and p. 276.
Merritt, Helen, and Yamada, Nanako, 'Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints 1900-1975', University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1992, p. 170.
Merritt, Helen, 'Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Early Years', University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1990, pp. 228-9.
Statler, Oliver, 'Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn', Turtle, Rutland, Vermont, and Tokyo, 1956, pp. 109-14.