Onchi, Kōshirō (1890–1955) By Ajioka, Chiaki
Onchi was a seminal leader of the modernist print movement in Japan known as Sōsaku Hanga and its most passionate advocate for recognition of the print as artistic expression and the artist’s control in its production. Born in a privileged Tokyo family, Onchi studied at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, but rather than its academism he was drawn to the images and poetry of Takehisa Yumeji (1884–1934). In 1914 Onchi, together with Fujimori Shizuo (1891–1943) and Tanaka Kyōkichi (1891–1915), published Tsukuhae, Japan’s first magazine dedicated to prints. In it he published Lyric: Bright Hours (1915) accompanied by his own poem, which is considered the first purely abstract work produced in Japan.