Oda Tomiya

Oda Tomiya 小田富弥 (1896-1990)   

Undated photo of the artist


Sources: The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, Amy Riegle Newland and Hamanaka Shinji, Abe Publishing Ltd and Hotei Publishing, 2000, p. 211; Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 124.

Oda Tomiya was born in Okayama prefecture.  Oda is his mother's family name and his real name is Ōnishi Ichitarō.  He studied nihonga at the Kitano Tsunetomi School.1  He worked as an illustrator profiting from the popularity of novels during the late Taisho period.  In 1924 he was employed at the magazine company Kurakusha and illustrated the novels of Kunieda Shiro (1887-1943).  His most important illustrations were for Jinshu Yuki jo (Yuki castle) by Yoshikawa Eiji (1892-1962); Teru hi kumoru hi (Fine or cloudy day) (see illustration below) and Yataro kasa (Umbrella of Yataro) by Shimozawa Kan (1892-1968); and Shinpan Ooka Makoto seidan (New Edition Story of Ooka Makoto) by Hayashi Fubo (1900-1935).  His prints of beautiful women were published by the Osaka Mokuhansha and the Hakuyōsha in the 1930s.

2015 Exhibition - Tomiya Oda “The Swordsman Sazen Tange “ at the Yayoi Museum

Source: Tokyo Art Beat http://www.tokyoartbeat.com/event/2014/F7EB [accessed 11-21-23]

From the end of the Taishō era to the early Shōwa period as popular culture began to flourish, illustrator  Oda Tomiya took up his career in illustrations for period novels, with depictions of Hayashi Fubō’s 林不忘 (1900-1935) one-eyed, one-armed hero Tange Sanzen (in the novel Sinpan Ooka Seidan) and enjoyed popular success in his renderings of characters newly born in the public imagination, in particularly that of the outlaw.2 At the age of 17 Oda began to study under nihonga master Tsunetomi Kitano, as well as drawing on the heritage of ukiyo-e painter Kuniyoshi Utagawa. Among Oda's students were the painters/illustrators Naka Kazuya 中一弥 (1911-2015), Kimata Kiyoshi 木俣清史 (1910-1997) and Noguchi Kōmei 野口昴明 (1909-1982). This exhibition takes stock of his illustrations through his depictions for novels which left an indelible mark on Japanese popular culture. 

1 Kitano Tsunetomi 北野恒富 (1880-1947) was both a woodblock printer and designer and well known nihonga artist.2 Hayashi Fubō was a pen name of the novelist Hasegawa Kaitarō.

Other Prints by Artist

Woman Enjoying the Evening Cool,

c. 1935

Beauty with Fan, ca.1935

Illustration from

Fine or Cloudy Day,

c. 1926

Artist's Signatures and Seals 


Tomiya saku with stylized seal


Tomiya followed by unread character with stylized seal


Tomiya saku with stylized seal


Tomiya followed by unread character with stylized seal

富弥 /

Tomiya / unread seal

富弥 / 富弥

Tomiya / Tomiya seal

last revision:11/21/2023created 10/19/2020

Prints in Collection

click on thumbnail for print details

Beauty Combing Her Hair, c. 1930s

IHL Cat. #239