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Oda Tomiya (1896-1990)

Prints in Collection

Onatsu Kyōran
IHL Cat. #1871
 Beauty Combing Her Hair, c. 1930s
IHL Cat. #239

Biographical Data


Oda Tomiya 小田富弥 (1896-1990) 


The Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties, Amy Riegle Newland and Hamanaka Shinji, Abe Publishing Ltd and Hotei Publishing, 2000, p. 211; Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 124

Oda Tomiya was born in Okayama prefecture.  Oda is his mother's family name and his real name is Ōnishi Ichitarō.  He studied 
nihonga at the Kitano Tsunetomi School.1  He worked as an illustrator profiting from the popularity of novels during the late Taisho period.  In 1924 he was employed at the magazine company Kurakusha and illustrated the novels of Kunieda Shiro (1887-1943).  His most important illustrations were for Jinshu Yuki jo (Yuki castle) by Yoshikawa Eiji (1892-1962); Teru hi kumoru hi (Fine or cloudy day) (see illustration below) and Yataro kasa (Umbrella of Yataro) by Shimozawa Kan (1892-1968); and Shinpan Ooka Makoto seidan (New Edition Story of Ooka Makoto) by Hayashi Fubo (1900-1935).  His prints of beautiful women were published by the Osaka Mokuhansha and the Hakuyōsha in the 1930s.

2015 Exhibition - Tomiya Oda “The Swordsman Sazen Tange “ at the Yayoi Museum
Source: Tokyo Art Beat http://www.tokyoartbeat.com/event/2014/F7EB

From the end of the Taisho era to the early Showa period as popular culture began to flourish illustrator Tomiya Oda took up his career in illustrations for period novels, with depictions of Fubo Hayashi’s one eyed, one handed hero Sanzen Tange and enjoyed popular success in his renderings of characters newly born in the public imagination, in particularly that of the outlaw. At the age of 17 Oda began to study under nihonga master Tsunetomi Kitano, as well as drawing on the heritage of ukiyo-e painter Kuniyoshi Utagawa. [His influence can be seen in the illustrations] of Kazuya Naka [1911-2015], Kiyoshi Kimata and Koumei Noguchi [1909-1982].2 This exhibition takes stock of his illustrations through his depictions for novels which came to mark a new leg in popular culture of Japan.

1 Kitano Tsunetomi 北野恒富 (1880-1947) was both a woodblock printer and designer and well known nihonga artist.
2 The writer's original text states that Tomiya's work was "influenced by the work of Kazuya Naka, Kiyoshi Kimata and Koumei Noguchi", but I believe that it's Tomiya's influence that can be seen in their illustrations.

Other Prints by Artist

Woman Enjoying the Evening Cool,
c. 1935
Beauty with Fan, ca.1935
Illustration from Fine or Cloudy Day,
c. 1926

Artist's Signatures and Seals
富弥 or 富彌

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