Kashima :
Thank you very much for taking your time for this dialogue. In the beginning, could you please tell us about how you and Takehisa Yumeji met for the first time?
Kano :
I was born in Taisho period, and I had never met Yumeji when I was a boy in Showa period.
I was an admirer of Takabatake Kasho. Kasho had lived in my house in the late of his career until he passed away. When he died,a newspaper posted an article which goes, "Takabatake Kasho who was highly successful along with Takehisa Yumeji deceased.
" When I read the article, I wondered how great the painter named Yumeji was because I thought that Kasho was the best of all at the time. Since then I had started having an interest in him. Japan was militaristic country until 1945, and Yumeji had a bad reputation about his misconduct, especially to women. However, when I asked my friends about Yumeji, they were all said, "Both himself and his works are nice," or "His works has poetic sentiment." Yumeji also described, "I wanted to be a poet, but poems couldn't be bread and butter. That is the reason I decided to be a painter to depict paintings with poetic sentiment." For Yumeji, paintings equalled to poems. More I researched about Yumeji, more I became interested in his paintings which means, his poems.
Kashima :
I see how you became interested in Yumeji's works. You must have felt the Taisho romance through his works.
Kano :
That's right. I feel that the precious feeling everyone in the Taisho period had such as endearment, fragility and affection were interwoven as a poem in Yumeji's works.
Kashima :
I understand it very well. Could you please tell me about "Boteki"?

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Kano :
"I was very close to Yukihiko, the son of Yumeji, and one day, I asked him about the allure of Yumeji's paintings. He replied, ""Manyo, folk songs, and Mother Goose are the key elements to understand Yumeji's paintings."" The work, ""Boteki"" was thought to be rooted in Manyo. Here, I have a book with the same title. It can also be said that this is the line which connects between the title of the book and that of the paitning. It may be the boy blowing a whistle and his girlfriend talking in the field in the dusk. It is always love which connects people in the past and still remains, so does the Romance, which is never changed. For Yumeji, his paintings equalled to his poem. In terms of Yumeji's paintings, one should read them as the poetry.
Kashima :
Yumeji must have attempted to express unchanging love or loving someone derived from Japan's first anthology of poetry, Manyo in the painting.
Kano :
That's right. The springhead of Japanese people is always in Manyo. And Yumeji always valued love.Yumeji put love and poem in his work which were different from that of Shinsui, Kiyokata and Kasho. This is the reason that his works touched the heart of viewers. Because of his exceeding love, he repeated the romance over and over again and loved each woman deeply. I would always like to know more about Yumeji, and am going to continue my research on him.
Kashima :
I was very impressed to hear about your passion for Yumeji. Thank you very much for taking your time.

*The dialogue was quoted from the first Bisai catalogue.

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Kashima Morio

  • Kasima Arts Co., Ltd.
  • Kashima Morio
  • Founded Kasima Arts Co., Ltd for an art dealing company in 1988. Also established a secondhand book store. As a mail-order business, he has published a catalogue “Ochiho”.

Kano Takumi

  • The former director of Yayoi Museum
  • Kano Takumi
  • Founder of Yayoi Museum and Takehisa Yumeji Museum. The main collections of the museums consist of the works by Takehisa Yumeji, Takabatake Kasho and Nakahara Junichi.

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