Sekino Yowsaku

The artist in 2016 in front of his work "Sakura"

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Sekino Yowsaku  関野洋作 (b. 1944)

(the artist's first name is also seen romanized as Yousaku and Yosaku) 


Sources: website Sekino's Art World; Facebook page for Atelier Sekino ttps:// posting of Sohdosha Company 株式会社草土舎 

Yowsaku Sekino was born in Suginami-ku, Tokyo as Jun'ichirō and Katsuko Sekino's second son in 1944. He graduated from Chuo University's School of Science and Technology in 1968.

Rather than immediately turning to art to make a living, Yowsaku went to work as a chemist at Shoketsu Metal Kogyo (SMC Corporation). But in 1971, he switched careers to become the technical assistant to his father, Sekino Jun’ichirō (1914-1988), a towering figure in the sosaku hanga print movement. 

In 1976, Yosaku opened his own European-style printing workshop where "he assisted various artists to produce their lithographs, etchings, engravings, drypoints and woodblock prints"1 and polished and expanded, through experimentation, the printmaking techniques he learned from his father. 

In the early 1980s, he decided to become an artist himself specializing in color woodblock printmaking. He became active in the Shun'yokai 春陽会 (Spring Principle Association) in 1984, and won numerous awards from the organization including their 1988 Research Award (Kenkyū-shō 春陽会研究賞) and their 2004 Oka Award (春陽会岡賞).2 Yowsaku is also a member of the Japan Artists Association (JAA).3

Since 2007, Nihonbashi Takashimaya's prestigious Bijutsu Garou (art gallery) has shown his woodblock prints every year through one-man shows or small group shows. Yowsaku also exhibits in the annual exhibitions of the College Women's Association of Japan (CWAJ). At the 2015 opening reception of the 60th exhibition of the CWAJ, Empress Michiko purchased his print "Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)" for the Imperial Palace.

Many of his prints stand out for his application of gold and platinum leaf as highlights and the technically difficult application of watercolor inks onto metal leaf, as in the below print.

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)

woodblock print with gold leaf, edition of 50

24 x 35 in. (61 x 89 cm)

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The Sekino Family Website - Sekino's Art World

Several years ago, a beautiful website was launched by members of the Sekino family, displaying the art of not only Jun’ichirō, but of his sons Yowsaku, a woodblock print artist, and Junpei, a retired mathematics professor and digital artist. Please visit this site at 

Sekino Junpei

Cylamen, 2016

(woodblock print)

11 7/8 x 8 1/4 in. (30 x 21 cm)

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Sekino Junpei

Hydra Bowl

(fractal rendering, inkjet printing)

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Atelier Sekino

Atelier Sekino was created, and is maintained, by Yowsaku's wife, Midori, and daughter, Junko. The atelier's Facebook page can be found at

click on image to enlarge

The artist at work in Atelier Sekino

The gallery in Atelier Sekino displaying works of Yowsaku and his father, Jun'ichiro

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1 website Sekino's Art World Formed in 1922 by Kosugi Misei (1881-1964), Morita Tsunetomo (1881-1933), Yamamoto Kanae (1882-1946) and others who withdrew from Inten to promote exhibitions of Wester-style art, including printmaking. The organization is still active today.3 JAA was established in 1949 with an object of sound development of the Japanese art world, diffusion of art, and protection of the artists vocational ability; it is Japan's only vocational organization for specialized artists, which received the Education Ministry's approval as a corporation in 1953; and it has approximately 5,300 members who belong to the 4 fields-Japanese painting, Western painting, prints, and sculpture. [taken from the website of the JAA]

Typical Artist's Signature and Seal 

洋 Yow seal

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Prints in Collection

click on thumbnail for print details