Biographies of japanese print makers


Biography Tobari, Kogan (1882 - 1927)

Born in Tokyo, Tobari Kogan first studied English at an evening school; his teacher encouraged him to go to New York, which he did in 1901. He worked and studied painting there. When he was diagnosed to suffer from tuberculosis in 1906 he returned to Japan. There he met the sculptor Ogiwara Morie (1879-1910), who had also travelled to USA and to France as well, where he had met Rodin. Before he died he made a bronze head of Tobari Kogan (now in the Tokyo National Museum).
Ogiwara Morie persuaded Tobari Kogan to switch from painting to sculpture. He exhibited at the Bunten, and supported himself by making illustrations for novels. In 1912 he made his first woodblock print, Farmhouse in autumn. Altogether he made less than 20 woodblock prints, all of which are very rare.
Together with Ishii Hakutei he founded the Japan Watercolor Society in 1913; he was also a founding member of the Nihon S˘saku Hanga Ky˘kai in 1918. In 1922 he wrote a book How to make prints by Kogan Tobari - Drawn, block-cut and printed by author, which shows his print Student girl on the cover. In the years before his death he returned to sculpture: his small bronze sculptures clearly show the influence of Rodin.

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