In Kinoshita we have another example of a distinctively Japanese type of woodblock print artist. He was born in 1923 in the fishing village of Yokkaichi in Mie Prefecture, one of the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido celebrated by Hiroshige. After his graduation in 1941 from the Nagoya College of Industrial Art, Kinoshita was sent to Manchuria to work as a lense polisher, but a bout of sickness led him to be repatriated to Japan after two years. At that time he was painting in oils, which he continued to do until 1956. His first prints were mere transcriptions of his paintings, which he slowly abandoned. He either gave away many of his paintings or destroyed them, an act which he greatly regretted in 1973.
Landscapes of the mountains surrounding Yokkaichi were the original focus for his famous vibrant stroke. He learned how to depict the branches of trees by closely observing the works of Hiratsuka. Instead of cutting both sides parallel to the line to be printed, Kinoshita cuts away from this line unevenly with a flat gouge. Such a technique allows him to achieve a jagged effect even in very narrow spaces, but its execution is an extremely time-consuming process; indeed, even now he never produces more than four or five new works each year. The real Kinoshita appeared with the heads entitled “Mask” in 1958, at which time he also began to diversify his colors. He felt that landscapes were neither strong nor universal enough to communicate his ideals. They were inadequate to convey the hopes and fears, the poverty or misery of man. Only the unadorned appeal of the human visage could serve as a vehicle for this aspiration, and his faces—angular, round, or square—strangely portray his version. (105)
TAKEN FROM 44 CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE ARTISTS PUBLISHED IN 1973, PAGE 186comparison of day and night.