Kido Takayoshi from the series
Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times, 1942
by Hasegawa Roka
Kido Takayoshi (1833-1877), also called Kido Kōin, known as one of the Three Great Nobles of the Restoration, sits on the right speaking with an unidentified samurai.
Kido, the son of a doctor serving in the Hagi Clan, worked tirelessly for the sonno joi undo (movement to revere the emperor and expel the barbarians) which sought to overthrow of the shogunate. After the Meiji Restoration he served in multiple government positions advocating the gradual establishment of constitutional government and in 1871, he took part in the diplomatic Iwakura Mission, seeking legitimacy for the Meiji state overseas, as deputy envoy. - Source: National Diet Library Online https://www.ndl.go.jp/portrait/e/datas/65/ [accessed 8-16-2023]
Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times
The eleven extant prints comprising the seemingly incomplete series Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times depict figures active in the mid/late Edo era and early Meiji era who displayed great loyalty to the Emperor and, thereby, the nation. Issued in 1942 when the war in the Pacific was raging, the patriotic theme of these prints was clear. Nine of the eleven extant prints portray a famous incident or anecdote in a Great Loyalist's life and two prints deal specifically with the 1860 assassination of the shōgunate's Chief Minister Ii Naosuke (1815-1860). Each print was issued in a folder which also contained a written commentary.
Hasegawa Roka 長谷川路可 (1897-1967) - born in Fujisawa ( Kanagawa Prefecture ), he died on July 3, 1967 in Rome. He gained international recognition for his mosaics and paintings at religious and secular sites in Italy. Baptized while attending a Catholic junior high school, he graduated from the Japanese-style (yamato-e) painting department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1921. After graduation he went to Europe to study fresco painting, returning to Japan in 1927 and becoming a member of the Shinko Yamato-e kai (New Yamato-e Painting Society). He exhibited with both the government sponsored Teiten and Inten and was to spend many years in Italy, receiving honorary citizenship of Rome. He was known as a scholar of costume history. He is also known by the name Hasegawa Luke, Luke being his Christian given name.
Sources: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasegawa_Roka; A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer, Laurance P. Roberts, Weatherhill, 1976, p. 40.
Examples of the Artist's Work