Yamaguchi Sōhei

Undated photo of the artist

Yamaguchi Sōhei 山口草平 (1882-1961) 

BIOGRAPHY

Source: Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p.170 and the Osaka City Library Collaborative Reference Database 

Yamaguchi Sōhei, real name Yamaguchi Koshirō 山口光四郎, was born in Osaka where he studied traditional Japanese style painting (nihonga) with Nakagawa Rogetsu 中川蘆月 (1859-1924). After graduating from Kokugakuin University's Specialized Department, he self-studied painting. In 1912 he married Ōishi Junkyō 大石順教 (1888-1968) who would gain fame for teaching herself calligraphy and painting using her mouth, after a long recovery from her step-father's rampage during which he severed her arms. They would divorce in 1927.

Starting in 1915, he exhibited in the Bunten and its successor Teiten specializing in historical subjects. He also designed illustrations for serialized novels appearing in newspapers such as the Sunday Mainichi and Asahi Shimbun and published actor prints (see below image) with Yanagiya, Osaka.

He contributed to the sketchtour book Kinai Angya (An Introduction to the Inner Provinces), Kanao Bun’endō, Taishō 8 [1919]. 

Nakamuraya Jiro's memorial portrait, 1935

He is in the role of Kamiya Jihei

Signatures and Seals of the Artist (a sampling)

Signatures appearing on the artist's paintings

草平 Sōhei 

草平 Sōhei with unread seal 

草平 Sōhei

with 苹 hei seal 

草平 Sōhei

with 苹 hei seal 

草平 Sōhei

with 苹 hei seal 

 苹 Hei

with 苹 hei seal 

Prints in Collection

click on thumbnail for print details