About the artist:
Tobei Kamei was born in Yuasa-cho, in Wakayama Prefecture with the given name of Eiichi. He studied traditional Japanese painting at the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting. Soon he began to create woodblock prints. He exhibited his works, paintings and prints, at the exhibitions of Kokuga Creation Association, Teiten and Shunyo-kai. In 1929 the artist was one of the founding members of Kyoto Sosaku Hanga Kyokai, a group of Kyoto artists dedicated to the sosaku hanga philosophy of printmaking. After 1945 Tobei Kamei cooperated closely with his Kyoto fellow artists Tokuriki Tomikichiro and Kotozuka Eiichi in promoting the creation and distribution of sosaku hanga prints. Tokuriki had founded a publishing company to support the self-carced, self-printed woodblock prints. Mainly in order to make a living, Tobei Kama created also "artisan" prints in cooperation with the Kyoto publishers Uchida and Unsodo. These so-called artisan prints followed the traditional concept of the ukiyo-e teamwork of artist, carver, printer and publisher. The artist made the design, skilled carvers and printers transformed the artist's sketches into a final woodblock print, and the publisher was the guy responsible for sales distribution and he took the financial risk of a new publication. All famous Kyoto printmakers dedicated to the sosaku hanga concept (self-carced, self-printed, self-published) also created artisan prints (shin hanga prints) in cooperation with Kyoto publishers, mainly Uchida and Unsodo. The best known of these artists who followed two printmaking philosophies at the same time, were Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Takeji Asano, Benji Asada, Shiro Kasamatsu, Eiichi Kotozuka and Tobei Kamei. Tobei Kamei lived and worked in Kyoto until his death in 1977.