Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


This modest print marks the beginning of the sosaku-hanga movement which encouraged artists to carve and print woodblocks themselves. Fisherman, featured in the art and literary magazine Myojo (Morning Star) in 1904, accompanied an article describing Yamamoto’s revolutionary defiance of the traditional separation between the originator of the design and the artisans who execute the print, elevating woodcuts to the level of fine art. The print is also unmistakably modern in the simple, poignant depiction of the old man of the sea and in the artist’s deliberate retention of traces left by the gouge that cut the block. From the mid-19th century, when European and American artists first discovered ukiyo-e prints, Japanese pictorial conventions had a major influence on Western art. In the same way, when American naval officer Matthew Perry arrived in Japan in 1853, ending the island’s 200 years of seclusion, Japanese artists began to emulate aspects of European art. Yamamoto was impacted by British printmaker William Nicholson, who in turn had derived his bold style of a flat figure against an unmodulated background from Japanese woodcuts.



Yamamoto Kanae

(Japanese, 1882–1946)
Japan, Meiji period (1868–1912)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.