Joichi Hoshi - I met with Mr. Hoshi in 1978 a few months before his death in June, 1979. He had just completed a new home in Chiba Prefecture which he proudly showed to those who visited. The home was designed for complete living comfort as well as for a spacious work area. One room was devoted to drawing the image and transferring it to the woodblocks. The second was used for carving of blocks. At the time I visited with him he had four apprentices and thus needed considerable room for working. The third room was used for printing and the last for signing, numbering and storage of the prints. The most interesting aspect was that there were automatic sliding doors between rooms so that the door would open immediately when a person approached it. The worker could pass through the door with numbers of prints in his arms and still be sure that he didn't damage any of them.
Mr. Hoshi explained to me the inspiration for his work. He had traveled to Mongolia especially for the purpose of star gazing. He told me enthusiastically that he is sure the sky is darker there than anywhere else in the world and the brightness of the stars is unbelievable. This is one of the inspirations for the long series which he did on galaxies and constellations.
In the early 1970s, he turned his attention to trees which he felt were God's greatest creation. He concentrated on single trees, groves and detailed branches. His colors were bright and colorful; often he printed the images in two different colors.
Gradually his prints were collected by individuals, famous and otherwise, and corporations. His prints were in the White House, Washington, D.C. as well as in other prestigious locations.
When I returned to Japan in June 1979, I arrived too late. I was informed shortly after my arrival that Hoshi-san had passed away. It was of course, a great shock to me and collectors everywhere. He had had such a short career. Early in his life he had been a teacher in Taiwan for 20 years. After the war he was repatriated to Japan where he began to study art. Because he had very limited finances at that time, he lived by himself during the course of his studies and his wife lived with her parents. This is just one of the sacrifices he had to make in order to complete his training. His career as an artist was marked by the feeling of urgency that he had that he must catch up with his comtemporaries.
The day after Mr. Hoshi's funeral, I received a call from a friend informing me that Mrs. Hoshi wanted to sell some of her late husband's prints. I visited his home and found hundreds of prints available for my selection. They were signed by Joichi Hoshi and numbered or there was an indication on each print that it was from his private collection. I selected 500 of them and was thoroughly pleased there was such a large number of fine prints from which to choose. Living the Modern Japanese Print Movement has proven to be a tremendous advantage to me, rather than observing it as a casual by-stander or after the fact.
Joichi Hoshi Bio
1913--Born in Niigata prefecture
1932--Graduated from Tainan Normal School. Spent 13 years as an instructor
1946--He was repatriated to Japan
1949--Prize winner, Japan Print Association
1952--He became a member of the Japan Print Association
1956--Graduated from Musashino University of Art
1959--Prize winner, Kokugakai Exhibition
Participated in the 2nd Tokyo International Print Biennial
1960--Became a member of Kokugakai
1961--Participated in the 3rd Tokyo International Print Biennial
1963--Participated in the 4th Tokyo International Print Biennial
1967--Sao Paulo International Print Biennial
1969--Participated in a traveling exhibition of Modern Japanese Prints, NewYork
1970--Participated in a Modern Japanese Print Exhibition in Brussels, Belgium
1972--Participated in an International Print Triennial, Italy
1973--Exhibited at the Tokyu Department Store, Tokyo
1974--Participated in the Japan Art Festival
1975--Participated in the lst Nippon Cross-Roads ShowOsaka, Tokyo, Sendai, Sapporo, Niigata, Fukuoka
1976--Participated in the Japan Art FestivalParticipated in the Modern Japanese Print Exhibition, Belgium Print shows were held in: Sapporo, Niigata, Sendai, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Osaka, Tokyo Participated in a show at Wako Hall, Ginza, Tokyo
1977--Made a trip to Mongolia to do sketching Prints shows were held at: Himeji, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo
1978--Participated in the 2nd Nippon Cross-Roads Shows in Hiroshima,
Sapporo, Kunamoto, Niigata, Kobe, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Tokyo
1979--His woodblock prints exhibitions were at: Kyoto, Sapporo, Niigata
Died of lung cancer on June 17th
One-man show of his prints, Hendricks Art Collection, Ltd. Bethesda
1980--Woodblock print show of his works in Osaka
1981--"Recollection of Joichi Hoshi" at the Tokyo Central Art Museum Annex,Ginza
One-man show of his works at the Hendricks Art Collection, Ltd.
1982--One-man show of his works at Hendricks Art Collection, Ltd.
1983--One-man show of his works at Hendricks Art Collection, Ltd.
1985--Retrospective Exhibition of Joichi Hoshi at the Tokyo Central Art Museum Annex,Ginza, Tokyo
1988--Publication of the complete works of his "Tree" series in color--abook written in
both Japanese and English
2002-Retrospective Show of Works at Niigata Museum
A large number of his prints have been purchased in the United States and returned to Japan.
Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Arts
Council of Great Britain; National Museum of Far Eastern Art, Berlin, Germany; Brooklyn Museum
Art, New York; Boston Museum of Art; Chicago Art Institute; Oklahoma Museum of Fine Art; Cincinnati Art Museum; Haifa Museum, Israel; Collection of the Rockefeller Foundation; The Collection of Felix and Helen Juda.