Print artist Senpan Maekawa was one of the great personalities of 20th century Japan, a man of notable independence, and a political radical, yet a staunch traditionalist and supporter of Japanese folk life and customs. He was a typical member of the “Sosaku Hanga” movement, working as a cartoonist and illustrator up to the Pacific War and working for a variety of societies, exhibitions and magazines. The majority of his works were destroyed by a bombing raid over Tokyo during World War II. After the War he benefited from the new-found American enthusiasm for the movement's prints and by 1953 was able to devote himself entirely to them.
Maekawa studied at the Kansai Bijutsuin, starting in 1905, and moved to Tokyo in 1911 where he began his long career as a cartoonist for the magazine Tokyo Puck. In Tokyo he was inspired by [Kunzo Minami] to take up self-carved woodblock printing, which he taught himself over a long period. Maekawa was an active member of the Japanese Print Association from 1931-60.