Takeji Asano Spring in Kurama Temple
A beautifully detailed shin-hanga by Asano depicting the Kurama Temple near Kyoto during cherry blossom season. Also called Kuramadera Haruiro.
The title “Spring In Kurama Temple” is in Japanese on the left margin and in English on the bottom. The Water mark can be seen when held to the light. The Unsodo Publisher’s Seal and the Printer’s and Carver’s Seal are in the left margin.
Set in the very scenic northern mountains near Kyoto is the little rural village of Kurama. The forests and mountains of Kurama are very scenic and home to some giant Cedar, Maple and Wisteria trees.
The print size is Large Oban and the approximate Sheet Dimensions are 41 cm x 28 cm and print dimensions are 36.5 cm x 24 cm. The print is in excellent condition and has not been used or hung. Originally published in the 1940s this is a later edition from the original blocks.
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The Kurama Temple was founded in 770 by a Monk from Nara’s Toushoudai-ji. The monk was led to an area near the summit by a white horse where he saw a vision of the deity Bishamon-ten, guardian of the northern quarter of the Buddhist heaven. Inspired by the vision he established Kurama-dera on that site.
The original buildings were destroyed by fire several times, and the Main Hall was last rebuilt in 1971. Many festivals are held in the area throughout the year at Yuki-Jinja including the Kurama Hi Matsuri (Fire Festival) held annually on October 22nd.
Takeji Asano 1900 – 1999
A native of Kyoto Asano graduated from Kyoto School of Fine Arts and Crafts in 1919. He also completed Kyoto Specialist School of Painting in 1923. The Artist and Printmaker Tsuchida Bakusen was also one of his early teachers.
In 1930 Asano along with Asadan and Tokuriki as well as other artists contributed several designs to a series of prints. They were titled “Creative Prints of Twelve Months in new Kyoto”.
In 1947 Asano designed and carved a series of landscape prints titled “Noted Views in the Kyoto-Osaka Area”.