Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Utagawa Kuniyoshi was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting. He was a member of the Utagawa school; the range of Kuniyoshi's subjects included many genres: landscapes, beautiful women, Kabuki actors and mythical animals. He is known for depictions of the battles of legendary samurai heroes, his artwork incorporated aspects of Western representation in landscape caricature. Kuniyoshi was born on January 1, 1798, the son of a silk-dyer, Yanagiya Kichiyemon named Yoshisaburō, he assisted his father's business as a pattern designer, some have suggested that this experience influenced his rich use of color and textile patterns in prints. It is said that Kuniyoshi was impressed, at an early age of seven or eight, by ukiyo-e warrior prints, by pictures of artisans and commoners, it is possible these influenced his own prints. Yoshisaburō proved his drawing talents at age 12 attracting the attention of the famous ukiyo-e print master Utagawa Toyokuni.

He was admitted to Toyokuni's studio in 1811, became one of his chief pupils. He remained an apprentice until 1814, at which time he was given the name "Kuniyoshi" and set out as an independent artist. During this year he produced his first published work, the illustrations for the kusazōshi gōkan Gobuji Chūshingura, a parody of the original Chūshingura story. Between 1815 and 1817 he created a number of book illustrations for yomihon, kokkeibon, gōkan and hanashibon, printed his stand-alone full color prints of "kabuki" actors and warriors. Despite his promising debut, the young Kuniyoshi failed to produce many works between 1818 and 1827 due to a lack of commissions from publishers, the competition of other artists within the Utagawa school. However, during this time he did produce pictures of beautiful women and experimented with large textile patterns and light-and-shadow effects found in Western art, although his attempts showed more imitation than real understanding of these principles.

His economic situation turned desperate at one point. A chance encounter with his prosperous fellow pupil Kunisada, to whom he felt that he was superior in artistic talent, led him to redouble his efforts. During the 1820s, Kuniyoshi produced a number of heroic triptychs that show the first signs of an individual style. In 1827 he received his first major commission for the series, One hundred and eight heroes of the popular Suikoden all told, based on the popular Chinese tale, the Shuihu Zhuan. In this series Kuniyoshi illustrated individual heroes on single-sheets, drawing tattoos on his heroes, a novelty which soon influenced Edo fashion; the Suikoden series became popular in Edo, the demand for Kuniyoshi's warrior prints increased, gaining him entrance into the major ukiyo-e and literary circles. He continued to produce warrior prints, drawing much of his subjects from war tales such as Tale of the Heike and The rise and fall of the Minamoto and the Taira, his warrior prints were unique in that they depicted legendary popular figures with an added stress on dreams, ghostly apparitions and superhuman feats.

This subject matter is instilled in his works The ghost of Taira no Tomomori at Daimotsu bay and the 1839 triptych The Gōjō bridge, where he manages to invoke an effective sense of action intensity in his depiction of the combat between Yoshitsune and Benkei. These new thematic styles satisfied the public's interest in the ghastly and bizarre, growing during the time; the Tenpō Reforms of 1841–1843 aimed to alleviate economic crisis by controlling public displays of luxury and wealth, the illustration of courtesans and actors in ukiyō-e was banned at that time. This may have had some influence on Kuniyoshi's production of caricature prints or comic pictures, which were used to disguise actual actors and courtesans. Many of these symbolically and humorously criticized the shogunate and became popular among the politically dissatisfied public. Timothy Clark, curator of Japanese art at the British Museum, asserts that the repressive conventions of the day produced unintended consequences; the government-created limitations became a kind of artistic challenge which encouraged Kuniyoshi's creative resourcefulness by forcing him to find ways to veil criticism of the shogunate allegorically.

During the decade leading up to the reforms, Kuniyoshi produced landscape prints, which were outside the bounds of censorship and catered to the rising popularity of personal travel in late Edo Japan. Notable among these were Famous products of the provinces —where he incorporated Western shading and perspective and pigments—and Famous views of the Eastern capital in the early 1830s, influenced by Hokusai's early-1830s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. Kuniyoshi produced during this time works of purely natural subject matter, notably of animals and fish that mimicked traditional Japanese and Chinese painting. In the late 1840s, Kuniyoshi began again to illustrate actor prints, this time evading censorship through childish, cartoon-like portraits of famous ka

Joe Conrad

Joseph William Conrad was an American professional golfer. He had a successful amateur career, playing in the 1955 Walker Cup and winning the 1955 Amateur Championship, he had limited success as a tournament professional. Conrad had early successes as an amateur winning the Mexican Amateur in 1950 and the Texas Amateur in 1951, he attended North Texas State, playing in the team that won the NCAA Men's Golf Championship in 1950, 1951 and 1952. He had further successes, winning the Southern Amateur and Trans-Mississippi Amateur in 1953 and the Southern Amateur for a second time in 1954, he was selected for the Americas Cup team in 1954. In January 1955, Conrad was selected for the Walker Cup team on the Old Course at St Andrews, he won his foursomes match but lost in the singles to David Blair by 1 hole, although the United States still won the match by 10 matches to 2. The Amateur Championship was played at Royal Lytham soon after the Walker Cup. Conrad met Alan Slater in the final. Conrad led by 4 holes after the first round but Slater reduced the deficit to 1 hole with 9 to play before Conrad won two holes to win 3 & 2.

The following week he lost in the semi-final of the French Amateur championship to Henri de Lamaze. Conrad stayed on to play in the 1955 Open Championship on the Old Course, he qualified well, tying for 4th place, but in the Open itself he only just made the cut after a second round 76, one of three amateurs to make the cut. Rounds of 74 and 71 on the final day lifted him into a tie for 22nd place and he won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur. In 1956 Conrad travelled to Scotland to defend his Amateur Championship title, he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Reid Jack by 1 hole. In the year he made his second appearance in the Americas Cup. Conrad played on the PGA tour for two seasons, he had a top-20 finish in the 1957 Colonial National Invitation and played in the 1957 Masters Tournament. Conrad received an invitation for the 1957 Masters as an Amateur Championship winner but from 1958 winners of the U. S. Amateur and Amateur Championships no longer received invitations if they turned professional, unless they qualified in a different category.

1950 Mexican Amateur 1951 Texas Amateur 1953 Southern Amateur, Trans-Mississippi Amateur 1954 Southern Amateur 1955 Amateur Championship LA = Low amateur CUT = missed the half-way cut "T" indicates a tie for a place Amateur Walker Cup: 1955 Americas Cup: 1954, 1956 Joe Conrad at the PGA Tour official site

74 Virginis

74 Virginis is a single star in the zodiac constellation of Virgo. It is visible to the naked eye as a faint red-hued star with an apparent visual magnitude of 4.69. The star is positioned near the ecliptic and thus; the measured annual parallax of 8.16 mas provides a distance estimate of around 400 light years from the Sun. At that range, the visual magnitude of the star is diminished by an extinction of 0.46±0.02 due to interstellar dust. It is moving further from the Earth with a heliocentric radial velocity of +19 km/s; this is an aging red giant star with a stellar classification of M2.5 III, which indicates it has exhausted the hydrogen at its core and evolved away from the main sequence. It is a suspected variable star; the star is 2.9 billion years old with 1.4 times the mass of the Sun and has expanded to around 78 times the Sun's radius. 74 Virginis is radiating 832 times the Sun's luminosity from its enlarged photosphere at an effective temperature of 3,500 K