black and white etching of a cut lotus root (?) lying on its side

%C2%A9 Tanaka Ry%C5%8Dhei

Bamboo sprout, 1969


The four prints in this case were among twelve selected to accompany the English translation of A Fool’s Life by Akutagawa Ryūnosuke (1892–1927). Discovered and published after his suicide, A Fool’s Life consists of 51 fleeting sections, some based on his real life and others imaginary. Tanaka did not create the prints expressly for Akutagawa or the story; the publisher, Mushinsha, had requested to reproduce Tanaka’s prints as illustrations for the translation because they were in the publisher’s collection. The everyday sights in Tanaka’s prints—a retaining wall; a handful of dried fish; a massive tree; a freshly picked bamboo shoot— echo the protagonist’s growing solitude.

Bamboo sprout
Artist Life
1933 - 2019
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
"Tanaka Ryōhei, catalog raisonné, 1963-1990," #49
Curator Approved

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black and white etching of a cut lotus root (?) lying on its side

© Tanaka Ryōhei

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