An image of Tears

ONCHI Kôshirô

(Japan 1891 – 1955)


Not on display
Further information

'Tears' is one of the representative works by Onchi, the most significant 'creative print' (as opposed to reproductive print) artist and the mentor of the Creative Print movement during the first half of the 20th century in Japan.

'Lyric I' is one of his earliest works and was first published in the first issue of 'Tsukuhae', a magazine of prints and poetry which Onchi published with Tanaka Kyôkichi and Fujimori Shizuo. The magazine ended after no.7 due to Tanaka's death in 1915.

Throughout his working life, Onchi produced many works entitled 'Lyric'. In these works he explored the characteristics of woodcut searching for a union of poetry and visual art. This work is the first of the series of his lifelong pursuit; at the same time it is one of the most significant expressions of the urban sentiment among young artists of the fast-developing modern Japan in the 1910s.


FUJII Hisae (ed). 1976. 'Kindai-no Bijutsu: 35 Onchi Kôshirô-to' Tsukuhae, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Tokyo, pg.27 (illus. no. 27).

Helen Merritt. 1990. 'Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: the early years'. University of Hawaii Press, pg.184 (illus).

TANAKA Seikô. 1990. 'Tsukuhae-no gaka tachi: Tanaka Kyôkichi Onchi Kôshirô-no seishun'. Chikuma Shobô, Tokyo, pg.143 (illus. no. 29).

Chiba City Museum of Art. 1999. 'Nihon-no Hanga II 1911-1920: a banquet of carved 'individuals'', Chiba, pg.63 (cat. no. 105).

Shibuya-ku Shôtô Museum of Art. 1999. 'Sôsaku Hanga-no Tanjô: artists who carved the modern times', Tokyo, pg.125 (cat. no. 252).

The Yokohama Museum of Art, the Miyagi Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama (eds). 1994. 'Onchi Koshiro: a poet of colours and forms'. Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, p.51 (colour illus. cat. no. 31).

Asian Art Dept., AGNSW, April 2000.

Place of origin
Japan: Taishô period 1912–1926
13.2 x 10.9 cm image; 13.4 x 11.1 cm mount
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2000
Accession number
© Estate of ONCHI Kôshirô