The Sheltering Sky of Kawase Hasui

The still beauty of a scene like “Spring Moon at Ninomiya Beach” by the great Shin Hanga printmaker, Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) warrants few words. I’ll only say something about the frame—another example of a sheltering design, an approach I’ve featured in my last few posts (for a William Rice print, a set of tiles, and a Harrison Clarke etching). Hasui’s 1932 woodblock print is oban size (15-3/8 x 10-5/16″). The top portion of the walnut frame is 1″ wide and steps in 1/8″ part way down the sides. That heavier “sheltering” upper portion is stained black in contrast to the lower portion which has only a light black wash. The sheltering top ends with carved scalloped patterns that echo the tree sheltering the beach. The frame’s corners are rounded on both the inside and out and have proud splines. A white gold slip follows the rounded frame corners.

On nights like these, the still clear sky is all the shelter we need.Kawase Hasui print, framed

Kawase Hasui print, frame detail

Kawase Hasui print, framed

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One thought on “The Sheltering Sky of Kawase Hasui

  1. Beautiful. Perfect. I’m writing more poetry these days. In addition to haiku, I’m doing Homeric Dactylic hexameter as in the Iliad. Perhaps like pictures within a frame, different thoughts and images (the verbal kind! ) require different poetic formats to enhance them properly.

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