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Shin’ichiro Osaki

(b Tokyo, May 4, 1904; d Yokohama, June 13, 2001).

Japanese painter and sculptor. Self-taught as an artist, in the 1920s he met David Burlyuk and others involved with such movements as Futurism, Constructivism and Dada. From 1931 Saitō concentrated on a career as an artist, initially producing Constructivist reliefs. At that time a celebrated incident occurred when he refused to exhibit pieces at the Nikakai (Second Division Society) exhibition on the grounds that his pieces were neither painting nor sculpture: he was first chosen for the Nikakai exhibition in 1936. In 1938, together with Jirō Yoshihara and Takeo Yamaguchi (1902–83), he established the ‘Room Nine Society’ (Kyūshitsukai) with artists of the Nikakai whose works tended towards abstraction. He collaborated on Toro-wood, a series of reliefs (c. 1939) destroyed in World War II (for reconstruction see 1984 exh. cat., p. 54). During the war he was persecuted by the military authorities for his avant-garde activities....

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Toru Asano

[Tetsuharu]

(b Kagoshima, April 28, 1897; d Kumamoto, April 25, 1978).

Japanese painter. He moved to Tokyo at an early age and graduated from Aoyama Gakuin Middle School in 1914. He became familiar with the work of the Futurists, Cubists and Expressionists through the composer Kōsaku Yamada (1886–1965), who had recently returned from studying in Germany. In 1915 Tōgō held a one-man show in Hibiya, Tokyo, of works that revealed the influence of these European styles. On the recommendation of Ikuma Arishima (1882–1974), an oil painter and one of the founder-members of the Nikakai, he showed the Futurist work Woman with Parasol (priv. col., see Uemura, pl. 2) in the third exhibition of the Nikakai (Jap. ‘second division society’; an association of artists influenced by Western styles founded in 1914) in 1916, for which he was awarded the Nika prize. In 1921 he went to France, also visiting Marinetti in Turin. There he participated briefly in the ...