Kawase Hasui

Snow at Amanohashidate (1921)

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About the Art

In February 1921, Hasui began a 6-month-long excursion around western Japan before traveling to the north-west in August of that year. From these trips came sketches for the 22 print series: Souvenirs of Travel, Second Series, of which this print is a part.

Amanohashidate - literally "Bridge to Heaven" is one of Japan's three beauty spots. Situated in Wakasa Bay in north-western Kyoto prefecture, it's a two-mile-long, narrow sandbar dotted with gnarled pines.

Describing the scene, famed art-historian Narazaki writes:

"An unrelenting snow blankets the entire landscape. The illustration of the indigo blue water and the grey clouds is perhaps an effort to create an extremely decorative feel. Amanohashidate has been depicted variously since olden times, but its handling in this work is different again. The printing technique used for the snow is very delicate and skillful. It can be seen as a perfect example of the traditional woodblock printing technique."