Ienaga Yoshikawa stood out in the mammoth group show of the Kodokai (held at the Tokyo Municipal Art Gallery) with his large "canvases", filled with similar, patterned abstractions. Like Noma, his very modern pictures reflect the Japanese heritage. Yoshikawa's speak of eighth-century Nara sutras, the yoroi armour of the Warring States period (mid-15th to late 16th centuries) and the spirit of ink-painting which elevated Muromachi art to the pinnacle of the Japanese landscape tradition.

Applying oil paints onto very thick and strong paper Yoshikawa achieves the slightly wet effect reminiscent of inkpainting. He uses one, at most two colors on each painting, combining effectively with the white paper.

Another atypical artist, Yoshikawa scorns the fickleness prevalent here where artists change "styles" faster thar women fashions. His friends are often puzzled, thinking that each year he extribits the same painting, when in fact his is a slow and searching progress and the resemblance of the year's work to the last is superficial and only apparent. The motion, the quality of inner motion, is developing steadily.

Underneath the tranquil surface of Yoshikawa's monochrome, scale- or rooftile-tilled pictures there is in each a differenct sort of tension and flow. The spirit of kendo, the Japanese art of the sword, is prized for its "motion within stillness". The fatal slash always seems to be done in slow, motion when in fact it is lightning fast. Yoshikawa's work captures this rise and fall of the spirit at the moment of truth.