Hashiguchi Goyo was born in 1880 in Kagoshima as Hashiguchi Kiyoshi. His father taught him the traditional Kano painting at the age of ten. He later went to Tokyo and began calling himself Goyo and studying Western oil painting at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. He graduated in 1905 as the best student of his class.
In 1907 Goyo won the first prize in a contest to produce an ukiyo-e poster, gaining him public recognition. He began to study ukiyo-e from books, originals and reproductions and he wrote a number of articles about the great classical ukiyo-e artists, such as Utamaro, Hiroshige and Harunobu.
In 1915, at the age of thirty- five, Goyo made his first print titled, “Woman in Bath” or “Yuami”. The Shin Hanga publisher, Watanabe Shozaburo had encouraged Goyo to begin making prints and after this first attempt, Watanabe was enthusiastic about continuing their cooperation. During the next three years Goyo supervised a project of ukiyo-e reproductions and from 1918 until his death, he produced thirteen prints: four landscapes, one nature print and eight prints of women.
By the late 1920’s, Goyo’s health was in rapid decline. He supervised his last print, “Hot Spring Hotel” from his bed in the hospital. Goyo left behind numerous sketches from which his brother and his nephew used to produce seven more prints.