Foreword Gallery 100 Views of Tokyo and UKIYO

Shinji Tsuchimochi
Foreword Gallery

100 Views of Tokyo and UKIYO

We welcome you to the world of Tokyo and invite you to have a look around through these drawings by Shinji Tsuchimochi, illustrator of 100 Views of Tokyo. With the pandemic restrictions gradually coming to an end, we bring you this feature with the hopes that trips to Tokyo will return soon.

PROFILE

Shinji Tsuchimochi

Shinji Tsuchimochi
An illustrator based in Tokyo. During his studies of Japanese-style painting at Tama Art University, Shinji Tsuchimochi also drew inspiration from local illustrators of the 1980s in the pursuit of his own love of art. His art also adorns various forms of media, including album covers, and he released his masterpiece work, 100 Views of Tokyo (Shikaku Publishing) in October 2016. Following this, he then joined the Miyakodori-published Reiwa Shin-Hanga project and started creating ukiyo-e pieces. His art book, UKIYO, was released in 2020

From the famous atmospheric homely neighbourhoods, to the latest spots sporting the hottest trends—Tokyo has it all. The city is known as one garnering plenty of attention with more and more international tourists flocking to it every year. In August 2021, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were held (after being postponed for a year due to the spread of COVID-19) in front of practically zero spectators. Unfortunately, many potential visitors also cancelled their trips to Japan.

This month sees Nichigo Press collaborating with Shinji Tsuchimochi, a Japanese illustrator. Fans may know him for his nostalgic, retro pieces, as well as his renowned “100 Views of Tokyo”. This special feature over the following pages is a collaboration in an effort to get Tokyo’s inherent charms to leap off the pages and give you a slice of the city.

We hope his Ukiyo-Labo and Reiwa Shin-Hanga projects help to build your excitement in anticipation for the day the borders open for you to jump onto a plane to visit Tokyo. In the next few pages, you will be treated to four illustrations from the Ukiyo-Labo project, and two from the Reiwa Shin-Hanga project.

Reiwa Shin-Hanga is a project created to bring the ukiyo-e-style of yesteryear to modern times. The revival of ukiyo-e during the Taisho era was coined “Shin-Hanga” (new Hanga) and this project draws inspiration from that revival through its name as penned by the publisher, thus leading to these works of art.

While the fast-changing timelines of the internet and social media can offer certain conveniences, it’s easy to feel tired at times from the mountain of information dictating our lives. The ukiyo-e-style of art may have faded following the Industrial Revolution, but it still possesses an allure that allows you to quietly sit and admire it.

With illustrations, manga, anime, and other borderless forms of artistic expression filling the modern world, ukiyo-e provides a frame to capture a snapshot of an era. This project was started to explore new ways to approach art in this sense.

Ukiyo-Labo works

Negishi
Negishi
Akihabara
Akihabara
Asakusabashi
Asakusabashi
Shibakoen
Shibakoen

100 Views of Tokyo
Publisher: Miyakodori Publishing
Designer: Shinji Tsuchimochi
Carver/Printer: Takashi Kashiwagi
Paper size: 21.5cm by 21cm

The creative process behind Reiwa Shin-Hanga

Tokyo Nightscape Ginza in the Rain

Tokyo Nightscape Ginza in the Rain
Publisher: Miyakodori Publishing
Designer: Shinji Tsuchimochi
Carver: Takashi Kashiwagi
Printer: Shun Yamamoto
Paper size: 36cm by 25.5cm

Tsuchimochi: The view of a crowd of people whose faces can’t be seen as they walk through the rain with their umbrellas up is what I see as a quintessentially Japanese scene. Although the rain can make you feel sombre, I also feel as though it has a calming quality to drown out and wash away the noise. I chose this as my very first piece for the Reiwa Shin-Hanga project since I thought a rainy scene, which is often depicted in ukiyo-e, would match well with Ginza and how prosperous it has always been, even before the war.

Tokyo Nightscape Twilight at Nihonbashi

Tokyo Nightscape Twilight at Nihonbashi
Publisher: Miyakodori Publishing
Designer: Shinji Tsuchimochi
Carver: Takashi Kashiwagi
Printer: Shun Yamamoto
Paper size: 25.5cm by 36cm

Tsuchimochi: Nihonbashi has been depicted by many artistic legends, from the great master of ukiyo-e, Hiroshige Utagawa, to Shin-Hanga greats such as Hasui Kawase and Noël Nouët. I decided to take on the challenge as well. There is actually a motorway across the bridge as If to symbolise the highspeed of Japan’s economic growth, but I drew it from the view of an alternative future of what it might look like if that hadn’t happened.

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