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uncle editor
September 7, 2023

Ryohei Yanagihara principle ~RyoheIZM~10

Ryohei Yanagihara principle ~RyoheIZM~10

uncle editor

September 7, 2023

Aboard a sailing ship

Aboard a sailing ship

The taste of line drawings, once again

The taste of line drawings, once again

I saw the original pen-and-ink drawing, simply titled "Sailing Passenger Ship." It was a monochrome, simple line drawing, but it was detailed with details, including the mast, protruding bow, and sails, as well as the many ropes, including the tugs of war.


This level of detail is the true essence of Yanagihara, who knows ships inside and out. At first glance, perhaps because I am an amateur, it only seemed that way to me, but after a while I changed my mind and thought that it might not be that simple.

I saw the original pen-and-ink drawing, simply titled "Sailing Passenger Ship." It was a monochrome, simple line drawing, but it was detailed with details, including the mast, protruding bow, and sails, as well as the many ropes, including the tugs of war.


This level of detail is the true essence of Yanagihara, who knows ships inside and out. At first glance, perhaps because I am an amateur, it only seemed that way to me, but after a while I changed my mind and thought that it might not be that simple.

Uncle Editor's Internal Theatre

Since I went to the Yanagihara exhibition held in Yokohama in August, I have become addicted to looking at Ryohei Yanagihara's original drawings. I start to imagine (fantasize) what I would say if Yanagihara himself were standing next to me, and how he would respond. It's like a skit begins in my head.


I'm embarrassed to even write this, but let's say I commented, "The way the ropes are drawn in detail is different from the work of someone who knows ships inside and out." At that time, virtual Ryohei Yanagihara responded without a moment's hesitation, "If you don't do that, it won't be a sailing ship." To the outsider, it was three seconds of silence, but inside my head, that was the kind of exchange that was taking place.

Simple and subtle

Uncle Editor's Internal Theatre

In the past, I have written that Yanagihara's work is characterized by the fact that he omits what can be omitted and finishes it simply. However, Yanagihara's inclusion of the ropes of the sailing ship, although it is certainly a detailed work, is a depiction that could not be omitted.

In fact, the paper cutting of the sailing ship Nippon Maru (reprinted at the end of the article) introduced in the previous column, "06 Ship Enthusiast's Love of Yokohama and Port," also had a rope drawn in pen. This is also true of paper cutting, which prides itself on simplicity.

Since I went to the Yanagihara exhibition held in Yokohama in August, I have become addicted to looking at Ryohei Yanagihara's original drawings. I start to imagine (fantasize) what I would say if Yanagihara himself were standing next to me, and how he would respond. It's like a skit begins in my head.


I'm embarrassed to even write this, but let's say I commented, "The way the ropes are drawn in detail is different from the work of someone who knows ships inside and out." At that time, virtual Ryohei Yanagihara responded without a moment's hesitation, "If you don't do that, it won't be a sailing ship." To the outsider, it was three seconds of silence, but inside my head, that was the kind of exchange that was taking place.

Simple and subtle

In the past, I have written that Yanagihara's work is characterized by the fact that he omits what can be omitted and finishes it simply. However, Yanagihara's inclusion of the ropes of the sailing ship, although it is certainly a detailed work, is a depiction that could not be omitted.


In fact, the paper cutting of the sailing ship Nippon Maru (reprinted at the end of the article) introduced in the previous column, "06 Ship Enthusiast's Love of Yokohama and Port," also had a rope drawn in pen. This is also true of paper cutting, which prides itself on simplicity.

Horizontal and vertical are very different

Now, going back to this painting, when we think of a four-masted sailing ship, the Nippon Maru comes to mind, but the Nippon Maru has square sails, whereas this painting shows a type of sailing ship called a schooner, also with four masts but with fore-and-aft sails.


By the way, square sails are a method of sailing that is perpendicular to the centerline of the ship, and examples of this include the Merry and Thousand Sunny, which Luffy rides on in "One Piece." Basically, they are ships that efficiently use the tailwind as their power source, making them fast.


In contrast, a fore-and-aft sail is a sail that is set along the center line. For example, yachts are this type. They are characterized by their ability to sail upwind and to maneuver. This is the type of sailing ship that Yanagihara wrote about.

Horizontal and vertical are very different

Now, going back to this painting, when we think of a four-masted sailing ship, the Nippon Maru comes to mind, but the Nippon Maru has square sails, whereas this painting shows a type of sailing ship called a schooner, also with four masts but with fore-and-aft sails.


By the way, square sails are a method of sailing that is perpendicular to the centerline of the ship, and examples of this include the Merry and Thousand Sunny, which Luffy rides on in "One Piece." Basically, they are ships that efficiently use the tailwind as their power source, making them fast.


In contrast, a fore-and-aft sail is a sail that is set along the center line. For example, yachts are this type. They are characterized by their ability to sail upwind and to maneuver. This is the type of sailing ship that Yanagihara wrote about.

Why I drew myself

And sitting cross-legged on a deck chair on the deck of the sailing ship is not the usual Captain Uncle, but Yanagihara himself. Yanagihara often uses this character in his paintings as a portrait of himself. His expression seems to be in a good mood, as if he is enjoying the journey on the sailing ship.


I wondered why he had decided to put me on a sailing ship. He had traveled all over the world by ship, but perhaps he had never been on a long trip on a sailing ship.

History of sailing ships

Sailing ships have a long history. They are said to have originated as far back as B.C. and reached their peak during the Age of Discovery, which began in the 15th century. Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and Magellan all used sails to navigate their voyages.


In the 16th century, the Spanish military formed the Invincible Armada and made its name known throughout the world, and in the 19th century, large clipper ships such as the famous Cutty Sark raced across the ocean at full speed to England, determined to deliver tea as quickly as possible.

Ships are symbols of adventure and journeys into the unknown, which is why they have given birth to many adventure stories, maritime novels, and myths.


However, with the advent of steamships and then steamships in the 19th century, sailing ships fell into decline and were no longer the mainstay of maritime transport. Today, sailing ships are used primarily for training sailors and for competitions.

The competitions are the famous America's Cup and various yacht races, which are still held today. Due to their long history, the culture of sailing ships is deeply rooted in Europe and the United States.

Yanagihara put himself on board, not Captain Uncle, on a sailing ship, a symbol of history and romance. A sailing ship is probably a world apart in terms of convenience and comfort compared to today's luxury cruise ships, but it was full of the spirit of adventure. Let's just say that Yanagihara put himself on board because he wanted to feel that spirit.


The square-rigged ship on which Columbus sailed traveled back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, but the square-rigged ship in this painting not only sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, but also across the Indian Ocean, travelling between India and China. Ryohei Yanagihara should be well aware of that kind of history. Perhaps he was thinking about the oceans racing along the South Seas trade route. (Continued in the next issue)

Why I drew myself

And sitting cross-legged on a deck chair on the deck of the sailing ship is not the usual Captain Uncle, but Yanagihara himself. Yanagihara often uses this character in his paintings as a portrait of himself. His expression seems to be in a good mood, as if he is enjoying the journey on the sailing ship.


I wondered why he had decided to put me on a sailing ship. He had traveled all over the world by ship, but perhaps he had never been on a long trip on a sailing ship.

History of sailing ships

Sailing ships have a long history. They are said to have originated as far back as B.C. and reached their peak during the Age of Discovery, which began in the 15th century. Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and Magellan all used sails to navigate their voyages.


In the 16th century, the Spanish military formed the Invincible Armada and made its name known throughout the world, and in the 19th century, large clipper ships such as the famous Cutty Sark raced across the ocean at full speed to England, determined to deliver tea as quickly as possible.


Ships are symbols of adventure and journeys into the unknown, which is why they have given birth to many adventure stories, maritime novels, and myths.


However, with the advent of steamships and then steamships in the 19th century, sailing ships fell into decline and were no longer the mainstay of maritime transport. Today, sailing ships are used primarily for training sailors and for competitions.


The competitions are the famous America's Cup and various yacht races, which are still held today. Due to their long history, the culture of sailing ships is deeply rooted in Europe and the United States.


Yanagihara put himself on board, not Captain Uncle, on a sailing ship, a symbol of history and romance. A sailing ship is probably a world apart in terms of convenience and comfort compared to today's luxury cruise ships, but it was full of the spirit of adventure. Let's just say that Yanagihara put himself on board because he wanted to feel that spirit.


The square-rigged ship on which Columbus sailed traveled back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, but the square-rigged ship in this painting not only sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, but also across the Indian Ocean, travelling between India and China. Ryohei Yanagihara should be well aware of that kind of history. Perhaps he was thinking about the oceans racing along the South Seas trade route. (Continued in the next issue)

uncle editor

People in Royalty Bank. After working for a publishing company, he became independent and wrote articles for magazines and the web. Fascinated by the splendor of Ryohei Yanagihara's works, he began writing this column.

*Editor's note
The expression ``Fune-Kichi'' expresses the nuance of ``an unusual ship enthusiast.'' This expression is often used by Ryohei Yanagihara in his books, mainly towards himself, but there is no sense of any discrimination or contempt in it. Therefore, in this column, I purposely use the word ``funekichi'' without replacing it with other words.   

Ryohei Yanagihara

Born in Tokyo in 1931. In 1954, he joined Kotobukiya (now Suntory Holdings). He produced many popular advertisements one after another and won many awards, including the Dentsu Award and the Mainichi Industrial Design Award, before retiring and going independent. He loved ships and ports and moved to Yokohama. In addition to being a painter, he is a graphic designer, book designer, picture book author, animator, and writer. Passed away on August 2015, 8 at the age of 17.

uncle editor

People in Royalty Bank. After working for a publishing company, he became independent and wrote articles for magazines and the web. Fascinated by the splendor of Ryohei Yanagihara's works, he began writing this column.

*Editor's note
The expression ``Fune-Kichi'' expresses the nuance of ``an unusual ship enthusiast.'' This expression is often used by Ryohei Yanagihara in his books, mainly towards himself, but there is no sense of any discrimination or contempt in it. Therefore, in this column, I purposely use the word ``funekichi'' without replacing it with other words.   

References
・"Picture Diary of a Boat Trip" (Tokuma Bunko)

Ryohei Yanagihara principle ~RyoheIZM~

In my previous column, I wrote that the individuality shown in Ryohei Yanagihara's paintings is due to the design sense he has cultivated as a designer. However, in the art world, there seems to be a big gap between painters and designers.

For example, in the case of Cassandre, a famous French revolutionary designer who appeared in the previous issue, he only considered design work as a means to make a living until he could make a living as a painter.

Naturally, Ryohei Yanagihara's paintings have a unique originality that is different from others. I have written several times before about what makes them different, but I wanted to know why they are different. The first thing that comes to mind is that Yanagihara is not only a painter, but also an illustrator, manga artist, designer, and book designer. According to Mr. Shizawa, former director of the Yokohama Port Museum,
I saw the original pen drawing, simply titled "Sailing Passenger Ship." It was a monochrome, simple line drawing, but it was detailed with the mast, protruding bow, sails, and even the many ropes, including the tugs of war.
The other day, I had the chance to see another original painting by Yanagihara. It is a rare cut-out piece with the title "The Michelangelo in the Port of Naples" written inside the painting. The sight of the famous ship, the Michelangelo, floating in the calm port under the clear skies of Naples is truly elegant, and one can feel the leisurely flow of time.
Ryohei Yanagihara's ships are often friendly and cute, rather than majestic. Where does this friendliness come from? And how does he express it? Masakatsu Shizawa, former director of the Yokohama Port Museum, sums it up in one word: "They're deformed, aren't they? In other words, they're compressed."
I wanted to know when and how Yanagiwara Ryohei's love of ships was developed. However, I couldn't find anyone who knew about his childhood. Instead, I will introduce some passages from "Yanagiwara Ryohei's My Life" that gave me some clues. After the war (1945), Japan was under the control of the occupying forces and was not allowed to build ships, but in 1946 permission was granted to build small boats. The following year, in 1947, Yanagiwara Ryohei (15 years old), a junior high school student living in the Kansai region,
Ryohei Yanagihara loved Yokohama. He lived on the hillside of Yamate and created many works while looking at the harbor from his study/workroom (though a few years later, the harbor was no longer visible due to other buildings). There was a company president with an office in Yokohama who loved his work. He had an idea that the power of Ryohei Yanagihara's paintings could be the catalyst to boost the popularity of his company's existing products.
Now, finally, let's talk about ships. Yanagiwara's love (= knowledge) of ships is so vast and deep that I'm not sure where to begin. Anyone who reads "Senpai Enikki" (Tokuma Bunko) will understand the depth of his love for ships. Not only are specifications such as displacement (total tonnage), speed, number of passengers, ship registry, construction company, and owner company (even transitions), but there are also detailed descriptions of cabin rates from first to third class, as well as diagrams showing the location of each cabin. Of course, some may say that this can be found by researching or taking notes. However, at that time, it was impossible to casually search and find out. You had to find out how to research and who to contact on your own.
Line drawings are the starting point of Ryohei Yanagiwara's work. For him, sketching is part of daily life, and sketching starts with line drawings. He has left behind many tasteful works using line drawings. The illustrations in "Three Policemen" (Gakken) are one of the works where such illustrations can be seen. The three main characters, the policemen, are all, as usual, two-and-a-half-headed, and have almost the same faces except for the direction of their whiskers, but
Last time, I wrote about the creation of the immortal character "Uncle Tris," who has been active for over half a century since its creation in 1958. Even Ryohei Yanagihara himself probably never imagined that he would be so popular for so long. This is proof that the work contains a universality that even the author himself is not aware of. In other words, Ryohei Yanagihara's work contains "universality called charm."
The path, the ship and the port that you carve for yourself are themes that Ryohei Yanagihara has faced throughout his life, and anyone who looks at his paintings is captivated by Yanagihara's unique style, which is full of originality. I will write about his charm many times in the future, changing hands and objects, but before that, I would like to highlight another characteristic of his work: the interestingness of his portraits. .
It's frustrating not being able to say what's good about it The charm of ship paintings and the fun of portraits A painting of a ship by Ryohei Yanagihara. Sometimes it's a luxury cruise ship moored at a pier, and sometimes it's a powerful container ship being unloaded with a crane. Some of the works depict passengers waving from the deck of a passenger ship, or a captain gazing at the ship's course from the bridge of a cargo ship. Although the painting of the ship itself is far from realistic, it exudes a unique sense of detail and condensation, while the people are deformed to look like manga. .

Ryohei Yanagihara principle ~RyoheIZM~

In my previous column, I wrote that the individuality shown in Ryohei Yanagihara's paintings is due to the design sense he has cultivated as a designer. However, in the art world, there seems to be a big gap between painters and designers.

For example, in the case of Cassandre, a famous French revolutionary designer who appeared in the previous issue, he only considered design work as a means to make a living until he could make a living as a painter.

Naturally, Ryohei Yanagihara's paintings have a unique originality that is different from others. I have written several times before about what makes them different, but I wanted to know why they are different. The first thing that comes to mind is that Yanagihara is not only a painter, but also an illustrator, manga artist, designer, and book designer. According to Mr. Shizawa, former director of the Yokohama Port Museum,
I saw the original pen drawing, simply titled "Sailing Passenger Ship." It was a monochrome, simple line drawing, but it was detailed with the mast, protruding bow, sails, and even the many ropes, including the tugs of war.
The other day, I had the chance to see another original painting by Yanagihara. It is a rare cut-out piece with the title "The Michelangelo in the Port of Naples" written inside the painting. The sight of the famous ship, the Michelangelo, floating in the calm port under the clear skies of Naples is truly elegant, and one can feel the leisurely flow of time.
Ryohei Yanagihara's ships are often friendly and cute, rather than majestic. Where does this friendliness come from? And how does he express it? Masakatsu Shizawa, former director of the Yokohama Port Museum, sums it up in one word: "They're deformed, aren't they? In other words, they're compressed."
I wanted to know when and how Yanagiwara Ryohei's love of ships was developed. However, I couldn't find anyone who knew about his childhood. Instead, I will introduce some passages from "Yanagiwara Ryohei's My Life" that gave me some clues. After the war (1945), Japan was under the control of the occupying forces and was not allowed to build ships, but in 1946 permission was granted to build small boats. The following year, in 1947, Yanagiwara Ryohei (15 years old), a junior high school student living in the Kansai region,
Ryohei Yanagihara loved Yokohama. He lived on the hillside of Yamate and created many works while looking at the harbor from his study/workroom (though a few years later, the harbor was no longer visible due to other buildings). There was a company president with an office in Yokohama who loved his work. He had an idea that the power of Ryohei Yanagihara's paintings could be the catalyst to boost the popularity of his company's existing products.
Now, finally, let's talk about ships. Yanagiwara's love (= knowledge) of ships is so vast and deep that I'm not sure where to begin. Anyone who reads "Senpai Enikki" (Tokuma Bunko) will understand the depth of his love for ships. Not only are specifications such as displacement (total tonnage), speed, number of passengers, ship registry, construction company, and owner company (even transitions), but there are also detailed descriptions of cabin rates from first to third class, as well as diagrams showing the location of each cabin. Of course, some may say that this can be found by researching or taking notes. However, at that time, it was impossible to casually search and find out. You had to find out how to research and who to contact on your own.
Line drawings are the starting point of Ryohei Yanagiwara's work. For him, sketching is part of daily life, and sketching starts with line drawings. He has left behind many tasteful works using line drawings. The illustrations in "Three Policemen" (Gakken) are one of the works where such illustrations can be seen. The three main characters, the policemen, are all, as usual, two-and-a-half-headed, and have almost the same faces except for the direction of their whiskers, but
Last time, I wrote about the creation of the immortal character "Uncle Tris," who has been active for over half a century since its creation in 1958. Even Ryohei Yanagihara himself probably never imagined that he would be so popular for so long. This is proof that the work contains a universality that even the author himself is not aware of. In other words, Ryohei Yanagihara's work contains "universality called charm."
The path, the ship and the port that you carve for yourself are themes that Ryohei Yanagihara has faced throughout his life, and anyone who looks at his paintings is captivated by Yanagihara's unique style, which is full of originality. I will write about his charm many times in the future, changing hands and objects, but before that, I would like to highlight another characteristic of his work: the interestingness of his portraits. .
It's frustrating not being able to say what's good about it The charm of ship paintings and the fun of portraits A painting of a ship by Ryohei Yanagihara. Sometimes it's a luxury cruise ship moored at a pier, and sometimes it's a powerful container ship being unloaded with a crane. Some of the works depict passengers waving from the deck of a passenger ship, or a captain gazing at the ship's course from the bridge of a cargo ship. Although the painting of the ship itself is far from realistic, it exudes a unique sense of detail and condensation, while the people are deformed to look like manga. .