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Reference » Ukiyo-e »  Artists Biographies

Kiyoshi Kobayakawa 1899-1948

Kobayakawa Kiyoshi, a painter and printmaker, best known for designing modern Japanese females.

Kiyoshi was born in Hakata in Fukuoka prefecture of Kyushu. At the age of 16, he entered the school of Kiyokata Kaburaki (1878-1972) a Japanese painting master whose students included Hasui Kawase, Shinsui Ito and Kotondo Torii. Due to his atrophied right arm, he painted with his left hand.

During the 1920's and 1930's, his paintings were shown at several exhibitions including the Taiten, Kyodokai and Seikokai.

In 1927 Kiyoshi collaborated with Watanabe publisher and his production of print had started. ‘Modern Trendy Styles (Kindai Jisei Sho) was published between 1930 and 1931. One of the prints ‘Tipsy’ depicted a chic Japanese lady dressed in western attire with jewellery, drinking and smoking. When first exhibited this print was considered indecent. 

In 1933 his series ‘Kimono Beauty in Restaurant (Kitei Ryosho)’, for which a singer ‘Ichimaru’was his model, received favourable reception.