Masamu Yanase: “Transportation Labor”

Masamu Yanase

Page from Yanase

Before his involvement in the Proletarian Movement and his distancing himself from normal paintings, Yanase was already deeply involved with and inspired by the Futuristic Art Movement that reached Japan. This movement was known for going against the traditional art values, and fully embraced the new age of technological innovations. Futurists artists often incorporated depictions of new technologies including trains, cars, and other inventions within their art in order to honor this new generation.

This sampled art piece titled Transportation Labor is one of many of Yanase’s works that is influenced by this art movement. Machines and other devices are placed all throughout the page, a characteristic common to many other works by futurist artists. Even the title of the page is drawn to be almost mechanic like, with symbols and shapes similar to keys or machine parts are present. In addition to these images, wires, cogs, and circuits are also include in this piece.

This work, like many other of Yanese’s pieces was greatly influenced by George Grosz, a German artist who participated in the Berlin Dada movement 1917-20. Another similar trait of Grosz is how he also produced many violent drawings and paintings against the German government and the corrupt social structure, like how Yanase participated in the Proletarian Movement.


Works Cited

Tate. (1970, January 01). George Grosz 1893–1959. Retrieved April 17, 2021, from

各巻の構成. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2021, from (Picture & Content)