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From the article of The Niigata Nippo (morning edition) dated June 2, 2017

Landscapes in Nara, thinking of Yaichi Aizu
An exhibition of paintings by Jyuzo Shiratori at Chyuo-ku, Niigata city

 Mr. Jyuzo Shiratori (68), a painter living in Tokyo, was born in Chuo-ku, Niigata city, where his exhibition is now held at Art Gallery Bandaijima. Visitors are enjoying about twenty works on display, particularly those depicting temples and shrines in Nara with his characteristic delicate touch.

 His birthplace is the neighborhood of Yaichi Aizu. He graduated from the same high school and university as Yaichi. These coincidences seem to have had made him feel connected since young and deeply interested in Yaichi’s calligraphies and Tanka poems. Yaichi loved Nara and frequently composed Tanka poems there. For the past several years Mr. Jyuzo Shiratoiri has often visited Nara and been inspired there, for example, by the monuments inscribed with Yaichi’s poems.

 Visitors to the exhibition would be impressed by his soft tone from the painting of Hokki-ji temple with the morning moon above. And the painting of deer at Kasuga-taisha shrine, inspired by Yaichi’s Tanka poem, is attractive in the same manner. Other than the landscapes in Nara, some works of roses are also displayed, since roses have been his important theme for long time.

 Ms. Ayaka Watanabe (28), an office worker in Niigata city, visited and said, “The fantastic moon and the pretty deer in Nara. I like them.”

The exhibition continues until June 11. Admission free.

“Rokuen” can be seen from here

From the article of Sekai Nippo dated May 27, 2015

Depicting Nara where Yaichi composed Tanka poems:Mr. Shiratori holds a painting exhibition at Niigata.

Mr. Jyuzo Shiratori (66), born in Chuo Ward in Niigata City, now lives in Tokyo. On May 26, his exhibition started at Art Gallery Bandaijima located at the same ward in Niigata City. About 20 works are displayed, all with delicate touches, including landscapes of temples in Nara.

Mr Shiratori graduated from Niigata Senior High School and entered Waseda Universuty. During the university days he attended an art instutute to learn oil paintings. He has always been indepemdent from any association and works mainly for the exhibitions at Ginza, Tokyo and Niigata.

From his childhood he has adored Mr. Yaichi Aizu, who was born in his neighborhood and graduated from the same high school and university. This sense of closeness has made him pay several visits to Nara where Yaichi Aizu wrote quite a few Tanka poems. Mr. Shiratori's work, "Spring at Ikaruga, Horin-ji Temple・Hokki-ji Temple" depicts a rural landscape where the sky is clear blue and treess are covered by young leaves. This large work was painted, he said, inspired by Yaichi's Tanka poems. His other works also fully express sense of season with vivid colors.

Mr. Toshiaki Ishizuka (70), a self-employed businessman on his tour from Kyoto, happened to visit the gallery with his wife and were deeply impressed by "Spring at Ikaruga", saying " A really healing, wonderful painting."

"Spring at Ikaruga, Horin-ji Temple ・Hokk-iji Temple" can be seen from here

From the article of Itoigawa Times in Nov., 2013

Returning gratitude to Birthplace

Mr. Y. Kobayashi, a chairman of Nikoh Sangyo, donated a large painting “White Lotus Flowers” to Daiun-ji temple. Now its main hall has “a blessing”.

 Mr. Yasuhiro Kobayshi (77), a chairman of Nikoh Sangyo Co., Ltd. (headquarter at Tokyo), showed his “gratitude to the birthplace” by donating a painting titled “White Lotus Flowers” to his family temple, Daiun-ji at Tabuse Itoigawa city. The chief priest of the temple is Mr. Tatsuya Maruta. The painter is Mr. Juzo Shiratori (64) who was born in Niigata city and now has a studio in Tokyo.

On Nov. 23, 2013, an unveiling ceremony was held with many attendants including Mr. Kobayashi at the main hall of the temple, where the large painting was came in view for the first time. Mr. Kobayashi said, “I have been thinking to make a contribution to my hometown. I ams very happy to see the main hall decorated with the artwork well suited to the temple.” The chief priest Mr. Maruta commented with pleasure, “Calmness is conveyed to us from this lotus painting. It is now a new blessing in our temple.”

The donor, Mr. Kobayashi, having longed for Edison, came to Tokyo and founded the company, Nikoh Sangyo Co., Ltd., with the motto that “colleagues and customers make us happy”. Half a century passed since its foundation. His company has climbed to the top in Japan in the business of building maintenances, also dealing with a building management and nursing business. The painter, Mr. Shiratori is known for his combined technique using acrylic paints and natural mineral pigments. He is also working with the “Giclee printings” using a digital technique.

Mr. Kobayashi and Mr. Shiratori became acquainted with each other through the introduction of Mr. Kunio Mori (64), a vice governor of Niigata Pref. Mr. Kobayashi came to know Mr. Shiratori’s works in the association of people from Niigata prefecture and entreated him to paint “the Japan Sea in an evening glow viewed from Kajiyashiki at Itoigawa city, his birth place”. Deeply impressed by the superb outcome, Mr. Kobayashi immediately decided to ask another work for a donation to his family temple.

Working a full year for a white lotus

Mr. Shiratoi recalled a lotus he had previously painted and did some research of lotus flowers at Ueno Tokyo. Throughout a full year of hard working he finally completed the large artwork, 1.6 meter long and 3 meters wide, a size 200 painting.  He said, “I have changed the positions of the green leaves and the white flowers on the picture over and over again, which was like tackling a jigsaw puzzle. As the season of a lotus had ended at the time I was requested, I proceeded with this work by recollecting a lotus I had previously depicted at Niigata city. A white lotus was a chief priest’s desire.”

Mr. Kobayashi, Mr. Shiratori, Mr. Mori and others attended the unveiling ceremony, where majestic “White lotus flowers” came in view in the main hall. Mr. Mori, who is also a high school classmate of Mr. Shiratoi, gave a greeting with comment that Mr. Shiratori’s painting was full of nostalgia for the hometown. According to Mr. Maruta, a chief priest, a white lotus was well suited there because it was deeply related to Buddha.

Mr. kobayashi added, “I feel great. I would like to continue a contribution here”. He seemed in full contentment,


From the article of Sekai Nippo dated May 6, 2012

An Independent painter adores his hometown
Mr. Juzo Shiratori

Here is a landscape painting by Juzo Shiratori, a landscape of a morning glow which depicted the mountains viewed from the Niigata plain. “My hometown on my mind” is a large work of 4.0 by 1.5 meters.

The delicately changing colors of the rising sun are bathing the lingering clouds. And the painting is conveying to us fresh air which was timed to appear in the morning as the earth rotates. Mist is fading away and the surface of water is beginning to glow by reflecting the rising sun. We are now in a happy mood as if we were just awake in the morning with expectation that a day full of hope would come. We would sigh, “Nature is like this. I did not know that”.

This painting is on display at the lobby of the Techno Core of Namics corporation, which is situated at kita-ku Niigata city and a well-known as a pioneer of conductors and insulators including ceramic batteries. Mr. Shiatori standing in front of the painting says “I am happy if this picture could evoke nostalgia for a viewer’s hometown”.

Another painting titled “the road” was put on display at Heart Exhibition of NHK in 2010. The joyful scene makes us feel exhilarated. We go to an exhibition, but it is not because we want to see a harsh reality. However a painting isolated from reality is boring. Mr. Shiratori succeeded to materialize the human world filled with joy and kindness on the border lying between the real and the unreal.

In the 1960s a modern art such as avant-garde conceptual art surged into Japan. Mr. Shiratori felt it difficult to get along with probably because it seemed to him to look for something different. At the age of 23 he determined to aim at, instead of an abstract painting, a sublime and spiritual representational painting which can make us feel purified. He said, “Since then it has remained the essence of my creation. I am happy if viewers can feel it from my paintings.” Here lies the secret of his creation. That is why his works are so gripping to our minds that we are never tired of them.

He is from Niigata prefecture. His work titled “Words cannot convey how we feel about our hometown” is based on the stone inscription of Ango Sakaguchi, a Niigata-born novelist. He painted “The west gate of Horyu-ji temple” in memory of Yaici Aizu, who was also born in Niigata city and became well-known as a poet, calligrapher and rediscoverer of the charms of an old city, Nara. Nostalgia alive in Mr. Shiratori’s soul is deeply connected to these artists.

Yaich Aizu’s residence used to be very close, within a few minutes’ walk, to  the house of Mr. Shiratori’s parents. Mr. Shiratori says, “According to a chronicle, Mr. Aizu had died seven years after I was born, which means his life overlapped mine for seven years. I often run an errand to a baker standing just opposite to Mr. Aizu’s residence. I might possibly have met him. so I feel intimate with him.”  He added, “I am attracted especially by one of his calligraphy, a handwriting in Indian ink, “独往 (pronounced as doku-ou)” meaning independent way of life. I feel sympathetic, though a little saucy.”

Although he had often painted pictures in his childhood, he abstained from   painting during junior and senior high school days. He attended Niigata Senior High School, a well-known high school for its highest educational level throughout Niigata prefecture. But a growing desire could not be hiden. At the age of 18, he felt as if he had heard inner voice telling him to become a painter. It was not easy to persuade his father during the high school and university days. He finally disclosed his desire to become a painter after graduation from university, when his father confessed a secret to him. His father started with “To tell the truth…” His father was acquainted with Mr. Tanyo Kojima, who was a Japanese-style painter born in Niigata city and studied a painting under Mr. Togyu Okumura. A painter Mr. Kojima happened to take a look at a picture painted by Mr. Shiratori in the childhood. Then Mr. Kojima suggested to Mr. Shiratori’s father, “Should your son, in the future when he turns about 18 years old, say he wants to be a painter, I would advise you to let him do as he likes.”

Since that time more than forty years have passed. Now he has become a confident painter of free soul. He is large-built with a relaxing atmosphere. He is friendly and pays much attention to others with the ease of a confident man. A novel titled “the free school (Jiyuu-Gakkou)” was written by Bunroku Shishi and became one of the best-sellers in the postwar-period. He reminds us of Iosuke, a hero of the novel.。

From the article of The Niigata Nippo dated Dec.17, 2011

A graceful structure rooted in our climate

▼An exhibition of paintings by Juzo Shiratori(Dec. 18 to 30, 2011 at Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum, 5 bandaijima  chyuou-ku Niigata city)

Mr. Juzo Shiratori was born in Niigata city and now lives in Tokyo. While he was a student of Waseda University, he started to attend an art institute to study western paintings. During 40 years of his career as a painter, he has  always been independent from any association of paintings and continued to hold exhibitions at Ginza Tokyo and his hometown, Niigata city.

The exhibitions of this time consist of three divisions which are the landscapes at Nara, ones at Niigata and the series of roses. A painting of size 100 is the bird’s eye view of waters. Three paintings of size 20 include “The village of Ikaruga (Horyu-ji temple)” and “The sky at Asuka (Tachibana-dera temple)”.

Among five paintings of size10, there are “Words cannot convey how we feel about our hometown” (based on a stone inscription of Ango Sakaguchi, a Niigata-born novelist), “A church by the Foreigner’s Pond)” and “Bandai-bashi Bridge”.

Besides some Giclee printings, about twenty small-sized works include the roses in a rococo style, put in oval-shaped frames or Louis XV style ornamental frames.

He combines an acrylic paints with pure mineral pigments and uses newly developed solvents. Mr. Shiratori says these methods, making up for the weak point of acrylic paints, produce a better impression on the surface.

In most of his landscape paintings, a firm impression is created by a graceful structure rooted in the Japan’s climate, a steady sketching skill and a realistic depiction. A clear picture with shade and depth is produced by blue of the sky, dark green of forests, bright green of grass and trees, and quiet warm colors of the temples and other constructions. We feel this painting bringing nostalgia to us.

Now let us take a look at “The Japan Sea in an evening glow” (size 6). An evening glow is bathing gentle waves lapping a shore. The setting sun and clouds, in harmony with fresh blue of the sky, are creating a light and elegant atmosphere. This painting is splendid and delicate as well. We could say this is a rococo style picture revived in our time, along with the series of roses which make us filled with a cozy feeling of beauty,

His sensitivity is also reflected in his care for the frames of pictures, as before mentioned. Which will be the more dominating in his future works, his rococo style or his relaxing Japanese style?  I am looking forward to seeing it.