Kiyoshi Yamashita: Japan's Naked General

Kiyoshi Yamashita on Ebisubashi Bridge, 1955 (Photo from Wikipedia)

Kiyoshi Yamashita (1922 – 1971) was a Japanese artist. He is famous for his wanderings throughout Japan, during which he wore only a vest, garnering the nickname "The Naked General"... At the age of 3, he suffered an acute abdominal disorder which, although not life threatening, left him with a mild speech impediment and some neurological damage... he started to experiment using torn pieces of paper to create pictures... Yamashita ran away in 1940 to start his wandering around Japan, which would last until 1954... The events from this time were recorded in his “Wandering Diary” of 1956, and it is from this period that the most popular image of Yamashita travelling alone through the country with his rucksack comes. Yamashita used the Chigiri-e method of sticking torn pieces of coloured paper together to depict the scenery he saw on his travels... In 1956, the Kiyoshi Yamashita Exhibition opened at the Daimaru store in Tokyo, and toured the country, stopping at 130 places in Japan and attracting over 500,000 visitors. In June 1961, Yamashita and Shikiba embarked on a 40 day tour of Europe. Here he recorded the many famous places and monuments he saw. (Wikipedia)

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