Hasui was born into a merchant family in Tokyo. In 1897 he became interested in painting and studied for two years with Aoyagi Bokusen, a student of the Shijo-school painter Kawabata Gyokusho (1842-1913). He then broke off his studies to take on responsibilities of the family business. In 1902, however, recognizing that his talents lay in art rather than business, he began his artistic studies again. At the age of twenty-five he trained for a few years with Western-style painter Okada Saburosuke (1869-1939). He then studied Nihonga in the studio of Kaburagi Kiyokata and met the artist Ito Shinsui. He received his artist's name, Hasui, from Kiyokata in 1910. It was around 1918 that he was inspired by an exhibition of Shinsui's landscapes to commit himself to the woodcut medium. Though best known for his prints, this screen reveals him to be an inspired painter.
This rare two-panel screen by Hasui probably depicts Senjo Cliff at Lake Towada, a popular tourist destination in Aomori Prefecture. He first visited Senjo Cliff in the summer of 1919 and noted in his diary that he could not stop painting it. A likely date for this screen may be the early 1930s as its seal closely resembles the one used by Hasui on a series of landscape prints done at that time. For a print of this location dated January, 1933 see Watanabe Tadasu, Kawase Hasui mokuhangashu (Collected woodcut prints by Kawase Hasui) (Tokyo: Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1979), pl. 201.