Biography Yamamoto, Kanae 山本 鼎 (1882 - 1946)
When Yamamoto Kanae was eleven years old he became an apprentice learning how to reproduce Western-style illustrations by wood engraving. Ten years later again, in 1902, he entered the Tokyo School of Fine Arts to study Western-style painting, graduating in 1906. Meanwhile, in 1904, he was responsible for the creation of the first S˘saku Hanga print, Gyofu - Fisherman, which was included in the July issue of the magazine My˘j˘ - Morning Star together with an explanation by Ishii Hakutei. the Fisherman print was important because it was the first time an artist had done all the work in producing a print from his own design: artisan had become artist overnight.
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Yamamoto Kanae was already inspired by European art magazines like Pan, Jugend and Simplicissimus before he studied at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, and this combined with his being a fully qualified wood engraver made him the right man in the right place at the right time.
Between 1906 and 1912 he worked together with Ishii Hakutei, Oda Kazuma and other young artists. In 1912 he went to France to study oil painting, and also made his best-known woodblock prints there, until his return to Japan in 1916. In 1917 he exhibited his European oil paintings and wrote a book on how to paint in oils.
In 1918 he founded the Nihon S˘saku Hanga Kyokai together with Oda Kazuma, Tobari Kogan a.o., and in the following year he showed his "European" woodblock prints at the first exhibition of the Nihon S˘saku Hanga Kyokai.
After 1920 he stopped making woodblock prints, but he remained a strong advocate of S˘saku Hanga the rest of his life. He now mainly turned to oil painting, having exhibitions regularly.