.   Yumeji Takehisa, whose real name is Mojirō Takehisa, is a Japanese painter and poet. He was born September 16, 1884 in the village of Honjo (now integrated into the city of Setouchi, Okayama prefecture in southern Japan). He died as a result of tuberculosis on 1 September 1934 in a sanatorium in Nagano Prefecture. He was 49 years old. His work is considered as the epitome of lyricism of the Taisho era (1912-1926).

Yumeji Takehisa’s debut

Yumeji Takehisa came to Tokyo to study at Waseda Business School, and he studied self-taught drawing, never attending a school of fine arts. He started working as an illustrator, first for a political periodical (related to the socialist movement), then for the daily newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. In 1909, he published several poetry and picture books related to the four seasons. The volume Haru no maki, has had a lot of popular success. Subsequently, his success with the public has increased, but Yumeji has never been accepted in literary or artistic circles.

Yumeji Takehisa’s style and themes

Yumeji Takehisa used all kind of media and techniques for his art : oil, watercolor, woodblock print, Japanese style painting. He designed illustrations for postcards and covers of books and magazines. Most of his artworks portray young women with a melancholy expression. These women, wearing kimonos, are almost always alone, sometimes accompanied by a very young child, a man, or a group of women. But Yumeji also painted some nude women, always shown with modesty. He also showed kabuki actors, Bible-related scenes, and children. Finally he left many landscapes painted during his travels in Japan and Germany.