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MAVO was formed in July 1923 through the union of two new forces in Japanese Western-style art (yoga): the artist Tomoyoshi Murayama, self-proclaimed interpreter of European modernism, and the already established Japanese Futurist art movement. Nearly all the artists involved in Mavo had previously participated in the Miraiha Bijutsu Kyokai (Futurist Art Association). In addition to Murayama, Mavo's initial membership included four former Futurists: Masamu Yanase, Kamenosuke Ogata, Shuzo Oura, and Shinro Kadowaki. There were a number of different explanations of Mavo's naming, all of which differed on key points but generally served the important purpose of giving the group an enigmatic and stylish aura.

After its founding, Mavo quickly expanded to include Osamu Shibuya, Shuichiro Kinoshita, Iwane Sumiya, Tatsuo Okada, Michinao Takamizawa, Kimimaro Yabashi, Tatsuo Toda, Masao Kato, and Kyojiro Hagiwara, among others. Until the group's dissolution at the end of 1925, Mavo artists engaged in diverse artistic activities including the publication of a magazine, art criticism, book illustration, poster design, dance and theatrical performances, and architectural projects. (Source)


MAVO 1, Jul 1924, PDF (48 mb).
MAVO 2, Aug 1924, PDF (26 mb).
MAVO 3, Sep 1924, PDF (81 mb).
MAVO 4, Oct 1924, PDF (26 mb).
MAVO 5, Jun 1925, PDF (69 mb).
MAVO 6, Jul 1925, PDF (73 mb).

The above PDFs were sourced from Tyrus Miller.

MAVO magazine was edited by Tatsuo Okada (岡田龍夫) and Tomoyoshi Murayama (村山知義) and appeared in 7 issues between July 1924 and August 1925. By the third issue, the magazine was thick with advertisements and the usage of actual newspaper as its pages. [1]

The contents were thematically diverse and included essays on art (which often touched on sociocultural issues), poetry, and short theatrical texts. Throughout the pages were original linocuts and photographic reproductions of assemblage, painting, and graphic works. Oftentimes, these photographs were incorporated into new collages in the magazine itself. A Mavo trademark was the group's recycling of materials and elements from other projects in a continuous effort to refer back to their own artistic production. [2]

  • Nihon Kindai Bungakkan, Tokyo, 1991.


Hagiwara Kyōjirō, Shikei senkoku, 1925, Log, PDF, PDF (2nd ed.).

(in Japanese)

  • Mavo, 1923, [20] pp. Catalogue for the first Mavo exhibition, held at Denpōin Temple in Asakusa, 28 July-3 August 1923.
  • "Mavo Manifesto", Mavo, 1923, pp [1-2]; repr. in Nihon no Dada 1920-1970, ed. Yoshio Shirakawa, Tokyo: Hakuba Shobō and Kazenobara, 1988, pp 35-36.
  • Tomoyoshi Murayama, Ichimei ishikiteki kōsei shugi e no dōtei [現在の藝術と未來の藝術 一名、意識的構成主義への道程], 1924.
Artists' books
  • Hagiwara Kyōjirō, Shikei senkoku [Death Sentence], Tokyo: Chōryūsha, 1925, 161+6 pp. Illustrated by Mavo. Anthology of visual poetry. [3]
  • Ernst Toller, Tsubame no sho [The Swallow Book], trans. Tomoyoshi Murayama, Tokyo: Chōryūsha, 1925, 106 pp. Illustrated by Tatsuo Okada. [4]
  • Hideo Saito, Aozameta douteikyo [The Pale-Faced Virgin's Mad Thoughts], Tokyo: Chōryūsha, 1926, 120 pp. Illustrated by Tatsuo Okada. Anthology of visual poetry. [5] [6]


Gennifer Weisenfeld, Mavo: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde, 1905-1931, 2002, Log, PDF.

See also[edit]


Avant-garde and modernist magazines

Poesia (1905-09, 1920), Der Sturm (1910-32), Blast (1914-15), The Egoist (1914-19), The Little Review (1914-29), 291 (1915-16), MA (1916-25), De Stijl (1917-20, 1921-32), Dada (1917-21), Noi (1917-25), 391 (1917-24), Zenit (1921-26), Broom (1921-24), Veshch/Gegenstand/Objet (1922), Die Form (1922, 1925-35), Contimporanul (1922-32), Secession (1922-24), Klaxon (1922-23), Merz (1923-32), LEF (1923-25), G (1923-26), Irradiador (1923), Sovremennaya architektura (1926-30), Novyi LEF (1927-29), ReD (1927-31), Close Up (1927-33), transition (1927-38).