Donation of YUKI Somei’s rough draft of his manuscript for A Description of the Graves of Artists

YUKI Somei’s manuscript for A Description of Graves of Artists

 The Japanese-style painter YUKI Somei (1875–1957) is known as a figure who contributed to a revolution in modern Japanese-style painting. He did this by developing a style based on naturalism in the middle of the Meiji Period and by participating in the forming of Kinreisha (an organization encouraging Japanese-style painters) with painters such as HIRAFUKU Hyakusui and KABURAKI Kiyokata during the Taisho period. Many of YUKI’s written works about art survive today. Some of these works contain empirical information based on documentary research that is valued even today. These works include A Study of the Graves of Tokyo Artists (1931), A Description of the Graves of Tokyo Artists (1936), and A Description of the Graves of Artists (1953). These 3 works compile information on the graves of artists (with a focus on “artists” in the traditional sense), and they are valuable sources that provide clues to the past.
 AOKI Shigeru, the head of the Association for the Study of Modern Japanese Art History and a visiting research at the Institute, donated YUKI’s rough draft of his series of descriptions of graves to the Institute. Like the printed edition, the rough draft features the date when different artists died, their age at death, and a biography. However, YUKI continued to revise the draft copy by adding information even after the printed edition came out. The assembled rough draft is more than 10 inches thick. The work conjures up YUKI’s devotion to compiling descriptions of graves. This work can be viewed in the Institute’s Library.

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