Ono Tadashige (1909-1990)
Hill of Nagasaki, 1964
Color woodblock print
19 1/16 x 25 9/16 inches (48.4 x 64.9 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of
Felix M. Juda, 1965
Ono Tadashige is represented in this exhibition twice, in prints showing famous views both within and beyond Japan. Here, he represents the city of Nagasaki, with its distinctive cathedral spires. Ono devised his own printing technique called inkoku tashoku-zuri mokuhan or “color negative woodblock prints.” This process reverses the traditional method by printing black ink first, then printing colors on top using white gouache, which accounts for his prints’ distinctive visual effects. Here, he represents the city of Nagasaki, showing the spires of the Urakami Cathedral. The cathedral's distinctive profile served as the landmark for the dropping of the atomic bomb on August 9, 1945. The cathedral was rebuilt on the same site in 1959.