The Buddhist temple of Iwaya-dera, located near Nagoya, is noted for its complete collection of woodcut sutras printed in China during the Song dynasty (AD 960-1279). Hiratsuka was
attracted by the interesting construction under the roof. Hiratsuka was one of the leaders of the sosaku-hanga movement as it gained momentum during the 1920s and 1930s. Although he had mastered traditional color woodcut techniques, he preferred powerful black-and-white images of landscapes and portraits. The large scale of his dramatic works expresses his ideas: "I have always tried for power and strength in my pictures. I have done some Japanese-style brush painting, but I always come back to prints because I feel that they are stronger." Enlarging the format beyond the size
of traditional ukiyo-e prints reflects the new possibilities of installing graphics on the walls of large, modern houses, in art galleries, and in international museum exhibitions.
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