Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Kitaoka Fumio (1918-2007)‎ > ‎

Playing Bingo from the series The Face of Tokyo


Japanese Woodblock Print

Playing Bingo

from the series The Face of Tokyo

by Kitaoka Fumio, 1949

IHL Cat. #640

About This Print

Titled, Playing Bingo ビンゴゲーム,  Kitaoka gives us a view of a crowded bingo hall in post-war Tokyo.  This print, dated 1949, was issued as part of the series 戦後風俗 (Sengo fūzoku), translated as "Post-war Life and Customs" and subsequently included in the 1950-1951 five-part portfolio, each portfolio containing five prints, titled The Face of Tokyo 東京の顔Kitaoka used a mica impregnated paper for this 1949 print and the print included in the later portfolio.

KITAOKA, Fumio   1918 - 2007
1.Playing Bingo from "The Face of Tokyo No. 2" 1950
woodcut on paper, 12.3×15.3 cm
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

 Fumio Kitaoka 1918-2007
From the series, "Tokyo no Kao" (The Face of Tokyo)
artelino Japanese prints website archive

This collection's print and images of the 1950 dated print appear to be identical and it is possible that a second printing was done by Kitaoka to create the five-part portfolio The Face of Tokyo 東京の顔

The Portfolio The Face of Tokyo

This beautifully designed and, unfortunately, overlooked series portrays post-war Tokyo in the social-realist style that Kitaoka embraced after the war and later rejected, telling Statler "I rebelled against their [Japan's proletarian artists] subjugation of art to politics..."1

Five prints in the series, noted in the below list of titles in the portfolio, were printed in color and the remainder were monochrome prints.

For other prints in the Collection from this series see Around Ochanomizu (Kanda River), Outside Shinjuku Station, the West Exit and Behind the Stage.

Images of the entire series, titles listed below, are in the collection of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and can be viewed at the website of the Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art at http://search.artmuseums.go.jp/search_e/sakuhin_list.php?sakka=601 

"The Face of Tokyo No.1", 1950
1.The Jimbocho Bookstore District
2.The Kanda River
3.The Unemployment Office in Iidabashi
4.A Night Game of Baceball [sic] (color woodblock)
5.The Nikkatsu Movie Theater in Kanda

"The Face of Tokyo No.2", 1950
1.Playing Bingo
2.Outside Shinjuku Station, the East Exit
3.Shinjuku at Night (color woodblock)
4.Outside Shinjuku Station, the West Exit
5.The Shinjuku Imperial Garden 

"The Face of Tokyo No.3", 1950
1.Sukiyabashi Bridge
2.Ginza in Christmas Season
3.Hibiya Park (color woodblock)
4.Strip Show at the Nichigeki Theater
5.Under the Railroad Overpass at Yurakucho

The Face of Tokyo No.4" , 1951
1.City at Rest
2.Ginza at New Year
3.Ginza on a Rainy Day (color woodblock)
4.Behind the Stage
5.Back Street of Ginza at New Year

"The Face of Tokyo No.5" , 1951
1.Inside Ueno Station
2.Step Leading to Ueno Park
3.Shinobazu Pond (color woodblock)
4.The Ameyoko District
5.Ueno Zoo

1 Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn, Oliver Statler, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1956, p.153.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #640
 Title Playing Bingo ビンゴゲーム
 Series originally issued as part of the series Post-war life & customs (戦後風俗 Sengo fūzoku) and in 1950 as part of the portfolio The Face of Tokyo (No. 2) 東京の顔
 Kitaoka Fumio (1918-2007)
 pencil signed by artist "F. Kitaoka" in English below the image and printed "F.K." lower right corner of image.
 Seal unsealed
 Publication Date 1949
 Edition unnumbered
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - print was professionally conserved to remove overall toning, mat line and foxing primarily present in margins
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous mica impregnated paper
 H x W Paper 7 1/2 x 8 7/8 in. (19.1 x 22.5 cm)
 H x W Image 4 7/8 x 6 in.  (12.4 x 15.2 cm)
 Collections This Print The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo M00107-006
 Reference Literature 
last revision: