Kuroki Sadao

Kuroki Sadao 黒木貞雄 (1908-1984) 


Source: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Merritt, Helen and Nanako Yamada, University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu, 1992 p. 81; Japanese Wood-block Prints, Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938 revised 1949, p. 168; Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints - The Early Years, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1998, p. 206; website of the Miyazaki Digital Museum https://www.miyazaki-archive.jp/d-museum/details/view/577 [accessed 11-8-23]

Also known as Kurogi Sadao, the artist was born on December 8, 1908 in Nobeoka, Miyazaki prefecture in Southern Kyūshū.  He graduated from Miyazaki Normal School and studied Western-style painting at Kawabata Painting institute in Kyoto.  An ardent student, he drew inspiration from Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1895-1997) and took Hiratsuka's short course in hanga when Hiratsuka visited the city of Oita in 1934.  He also studied with Onchi Kōshirō (1891-1955).  He was a member of the Japanese Print Association (Nihon Hanga Kyōkai) and the National Picture Association (Kokugakai) and exhibited with both of these groups.  He exhibited once with the New Print Group (Shin Hanga Shūdan.)  He contributed the print Flowering Grass to the Kitsutsuki hangashū [two groups of prints that were issued by Hiratsuka's Kitsutsuki (Woodpecker) group1 in 1943] and the print Iwato Kagura Play to the series Picture Notes on Native Customs of Japan (Nihon minzoku zufu), in 1946.  He was awarded the Miyazaki prefecture culture prize in 1951 and in 1983 he received the Education and Cultural Merit Award for the prefecture's 100 year anniversary.

Merritt states his "landscape prints suggest heavy oil paint in vigorously repeated strokes" and Shizuya comments "his prints are full of colors, especially local color."

He sometimes uses the signature SA or the first kanji of his given name on early prints.

Kuroki passed away on February 23, 1984.  His sons Kuroki Ikutomo 黒木郁朝 (b. 1945) and Kuroki Yoshinori 黒木良典 (b. 1948) are both artists.

1 A group of artists associated with Hiratsuka who met regularly at Hiratsuka's house to give each other social support.

Examples of the Artist's Prints (reference only - not part of this collection)

Nobeoka fukei

(Landscape at Nobeoka), 1942

15.7 x 13 cm

 Saru Gallery


  Stone Image of Buddha,


36.0 x 50.5 cm

Kikai Sosaku-hanga


Sacred Dance before the Rock Door, c. 1960

40.8 x 31.7 cm

Kikai Sosaku-hanga


Seki no o (Lower mountain slope)

from the series Himuka fubutsu hanga shu, self-printed in 1961

25 x 18.4 cm

 Tachibana Park (Miyazaki), c. 1964

21.2 x 29.4 cm

Kikai Sosaku-hanga


Examples of Artist's Signature and Seals

Kuroki Sadao


unread seal

unread seal


Prints in Collection

click on thumbnail for print details

Iwato Kagura Play from the series

Picture Notes on Native Customs of Japan,


IHL Cat. #774

Takachiho, 1969