Artist: Kasamatsu ShiroTitle: Sea of EchigoPublisher: UnsodoDate: 1957, this is an undated later editionMedium: Japanese woodblock printSize: 10.5 x 15.5 inchesEchigo was the name for an old province in north-central Japan. Today the area is part of Niigata prefecture, which also includes the island which was the old Sado province. Echigo is blessed with scenic beauty and productive land, but cursed with a harsh climate and isolation. Consequently, early settlers did not migrate to this region. Locked between sea and mountain, Echigo's narrow corridor of harvest is hampered annually by immense snowfalls. Humidity is high during the winter season due to moisture from the Sea of Japan, and heavy snowfall is typical in most of the area. Its winters are some of the most severe in the world, with annual accumulations of snow that range from thirteen to sixteen feet.
Shiro Kasamatsu (1898-1991) was a Japanese artist who found early success. His prints were seen by Watanabe Shozaburo in 1919, and he published more than 50 prints with them by the late 1940's. He was a part of the shin-hanga movement, which was created from the late Meiji era until World War II, showing a mixture of traditional Japanese and modern western elements.
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