1927, 1935, 1936
The New York Shimpo and
the Japanese Artists Exhibition

Fig. 52. A Group Photograph taken at a Japanese exhibition in 1927. Kuniyoshi Yasuo is in the center, Hamachi Kiyomatsu is second from the left in the front row, and Eitaro Ishigaki is third from the left in the back row. Bumpei Usui's "Furniture Factory" is on the far left, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi's "Two Women" displayed beside it on the wall.

In New York City in the 1920s, Japanese artists showed their works at exhibitions held by the Society of Independent Artists and the Salons of America. Meanwhile, the artists of the Gacho-kai continued to interact with each other and hold smaller showings. From February 16th to March 5th, 1927, the New York Art Center hosted an exhibition of Japanese art sponsored by the New York Shimpo.

A total of 55 paintings and sculptures by 25 artists were exhibited. These artists included Noboru Fujioka, Kikuye Fujii, Seisho Hamachi, Masaji Hiramoto, Kyohei Inukai, Eitaro Ishigaki, Kentaro Kato, Gozo Kawamura, Seiyo Kitamori,Yasuo  Kuniyoshi, Ryokichi Miki , Michio Misaki, Kosetsu (Yukiko) Murata, Ryuko Saito, Kiyoshi Shimizu, Toshi Shimizu, Soichi Sunami, Chuzo Tmotzu, Tetsuen Tera, Takashi Tsuzuki, Bumpei Usui, Torajiro Watanabe, Sekido Yoshida, Isamu Noguchi, and Kiyoharu Yokouchi.

New York Shimpo described the Japanese art exhibition as follows:

“We, the residents of Japan, whose ideal is to strengthen the friendship between countries through culture, are very pleased that the works of Japanese artists have finally had the opportunity to be recognized by the art world in the United States. To reward these artists for their continued efforts and further strengthen diplomatic relations with the United States through art, we have decided to hold the First Japanese Art Exhibition under the sponsorship of our New York Shimpo headquarters, with the approval of those who appreciate art.”

 (“The ‘Japanese Art Exhibition’ to be sponsored by the New York Shimpo Head Office to cover Japanese artists residing in the Eastern part of the U.S.  for two weeks from February 1 next year,” New York Shimpo, Nov. 17, 1926).

At the time, the idea of a “Japanese Cultural Centre” was being proposed in New York City by Ryusaku Tsunoda of the Japanese Association. The Center would introduce Japanese culture to the U.S. and promote goodwill between the two countries. The New York Shimpo planned this exhibition while momentum for Japan-U.S. friendship was growing among the Japanese community in New York. Their intention was to promote cultural exchange between the two countries through the exhibition of works by Japanese artists known in the American art world.

VISIT Exhibition 1927, 1935, 1936