The tales of Steve Jobs & Japan #04: Woodcut by Goyo Hashiguchi on the face of original Mac

"Woman Combing Her Hair" by Goyo Hashiguchi exhibited until May 25, 2014 at "Fascinating Japanese Woodcut Print" exhibition at Yokohama Museum of Art

Old Mac fans may recognize the picture in the middle.

It's "Woman Combing Her Hair," a woodcut print by Goyo Hashiguchi which is exhibited right now at Yokohama Museum of Art at their 25th Anniversary "Fascinating Japanese Woodcut Print" exhibition (ends May 25, 2014).

You recognize this picture because it was used as the face of the original Macintosh.

It was one of the first pictures to be shown at introduction of original Macintosh:

It was also used on the cover of the manual for MacPaint, of course.

FREER | SLACKER Gallery, the Smithonian's museum of Asian Art even has picture of Steve Jobs pausing on a Mac with this picture on it (according to the blog post on the gallery, Jobs visited the gallery each year):

Click to jump to FREER|SLACKER Gallery's article "Japan: the Apple of Steve Jobs’ Eye?"

Hashiguchi is an artist in Meiji-Taisho era and categorized as one of the Shin-Hanga artists.

Ukiyoe and other forms of woodcut prints were popular culture found in daily lives of ordinary people back in Edo-era, but as Japan enters the Meiji-era, photography, letterpress and lithography were imported and traditional Ukiyoe began to fade away after 1888.

"Shin (new) Hanga (woodcut)" is a movement to revive Ukiyoe and other form of traditional woodcut as a form of art.
Goyo Hashiguchi and Hasui Kawase are two famous Shin Hanga artists.
I heard Bill Gates is collecting the works of Hasui Kawase.

Reproduction of "Woman Combing Her Hair" on the original Mac was a work of Susan Kare; the graphic designer famous for designing most of the original Macintosh icons and fonts. According to her e-commerce site, the image was created from an early scan by Bill Atkinson.
I am assuming that scan technology would later become a product by Thunderware, Inc. called the Thunderscan.

As for the image used for the scan, Kare's web site says it belonged to none other than Steve Jobs.

Kare's web site is selling the poster of this picture in four different sizes.

Recently, a book about this Shin-Hanga movement with reference to Steve Jobs was published here in Japan.

It is called "最後の版元 浮世絵再興を夢みた男・渡邊庄三郎 (Shozaburo Watanabe: the Last Publisher | The Man Who Dreamed the Revival of Ukiyoe)


You can actually touch the "Woodcut" on this web-based emulator of old Macintosh:

Open it with supported web browser and wait until Mac launches.
Open the "Macitnsoh HD" by double-clicking it.
Open the "MacPaint 2.0" folder by double-clicking it.
Open the file titled "woodblock" by double-clicking, and voila!

Addendum 2:
The Exhibition at Yokohama Museum of Art runs until May 25, 2014 and is one of the biggest collections of Japanese woodcut prints.
It will show how they were used in daily lives of people in Edo Era as well as how it has evolved in more recent years.

PDF information in English
Official Web Page in Japanese

投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2014年03月03日 | Permalink