The woodblock prints designed by Okada Yoshio (1934) are very scarce. Okado was active during the seventies and early eighties and his prints have never been re-issued. He seems to have suddenly left the Japanese art world. The very few designs that are known feature without exception attractive sensuous females, and/or refer to the Tale of Genji.
Okada is mentioned and admired for his superb woodblock printing technique by printmaker David Bull. Like Paul Jacoulet, he self-published and printed the majority of his prints. They are characterized by their excellent coverage, surface texture and deep saturated color and bleed through.
Tale of Genji
He is probably most known for his prints (Genji emaki) inspired by the Genji Monogatari story that were commisioned by a Japanese newspaper as an illustrated supplement to a serialized version of the story written by the famous writer Tanabe Seiko (1928). They were added every Sunday for a year, and when the serial was finished, the illustrations and story were issued in book form.
A spectacular design depicting a sensuous girl surfing with her eyes closed underneath a curving wave. Okada applied very deep embossing details to the waves and foam.
During a hot summer day a young beauty holding a bamboo fan is snoozing…disheveled hair, her eyes closed, with bared shoulders, in a dreamlike state.
Long Flowing Hair
An extraordinary dreamy design featuring a voluptuous sleeping beauty (bijin) laying on a red blanket. Her long flowing hair draped backwards.
The interest in the work of Okada Yoshio has increased since the introduction of the internet and his prints are sold very quickly when they appear on the market.
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