jakuchu tiger

Tiger painted by Ito Jakuchu

Tiger       The tiger has a rounded line and humorous face. The gesture licking its paw is a cute cat rather than a fierce animal.       When Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800) drew this artwork in 1755, he just decided to devote himself in painting and handed the family business of the vegetable wholesaler.   On the upper right of the screen, Jakuchu wrote 「我画物象非真不図、国無猛虎倣毛益摸」. It means “I have no talent in drowing nature and I won’t. There is any tiger in the country and I reproduced the work of Mao Yi.” But actually, he copied the painting of “Fierce Tiger” at Shodenji Temple in Kyoto.     Title:Tiger Date:1755 Size:129.7×71.0cm Owner:Joe Read more about Tiger painted by Ito Jakuchu[…]

Katsushika Hokusai’s original Phoenix painting in Obuse City

The painting of Phoenix that glares in all directions by Katsushika Hokusai In 1843, a great painter visited the small village Obuse in Shinshu (today’s Nagano Prefecture). The place where you can see the painting of Phoenix even today.  Hokusai and Obuse The man was Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). He was 83 years old at that time. He had become the popular painter by the success of “Thirty-Six Views of Mout Fuji” (1822-1831).    Even the period that Hokusai had drawn the series of ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock), he was already in the mid-70s. For reference, the average life of the Japanese at that time was about 50 years old.   He had stayed four Read more about Katsushika Hokusai’s original Phoenix painting in Obuse City[…]

Japanese ink painting:”Landscapes of Autumn and Winter” by Sesshu

“Landscapes of Autumn and Winter”     Sesshu(1420‐1506) was a Zen priest in the late period of the Muromachi Period. And he established Japanese ink paintings(a kind of sumi-e painting, an art expressing only with the light and shade of black ink).   Sesshu learned the ink painting techniques from Shubun(?-?). But hoping for a larger scale picture, he traveled to China. Then he mastered the ink art of the South Sung style and Zhe School, and created his own style.   Like these two pieces of work, he painted a sharp line and a composition with stability. It was a really new style in Japanese painting.         The Landscape of Autumn has Read more about Japanese ink painting:”Landscapes of Autumn and Winter” by Sesshu[…]

Tawaraya Sotatsu, Fujin and Raijin

Tawaraya Sotatsu, “The Folding Screen of Fujin and Raijin”

“The Folding Screen of Fujin and Raijin(God of Wind and Thunder)”   Tawaraya Sotatsu(?-?) was a painter in the early Edo period. He had a strong influence on Ogata Korin(1658-1716), who created the stream of Rimpa School.   The Kano School, including Kano Eitoku(1543-1590), which had the strong relationship with those in power of the warrior class since the Muromachi Period. But he painted a picture for the court nobles and wealthy townspeople.   This picture is one of his masterpieces. Tawaraya Sotatsu drew liberal lines and rich expressions of the gods. He proved that he established a free style of painting with the folding screen art.   Sotatsu made a space in the middle of the screen and placed Read more about Tawaraya Sotatsu, “The Folding Screen of Fujin and Raijin”[…]

Ogata Korin’s Folding Screen of Irises

  “The Folding Screen of Irises” Ogata Korin turned to a painter at the age of 35. He succeeded the art style of Tawaraya Sotatsu(?-?). And he became an official painter of the court in 1701. This picture is just after the honor. Sponsored Links       It is a work in which the irises were drawn on a golden screen. This elegant flower painting is a design that had been from the Muromachi Period as a motif to recall a scene of Ise-Monogatari, and he also used it for the lacquer work and inkstone before the folding screen.   The mineral pigments were used for coloring in blue(ultramarine) and green (verditer) which clearly Read more about Ogata Korin’s Folding Screen of Irises[…]

The Folding Screen Painting of Cypress by Kano Eitoku

“The folding screen painting of cypress”(檜図屏風) Kano Eitoku(1543-1590) was active painter in the Azuchi-Momoyama period, the end of the Japanese Age of the Civil War. As his artworks, “The folding screen painting of cypress” is famous as well as “The folding screen painting of Chinese lions “       However, he originally drew this picture on a sliding door instead of a screen. The sliding door was used for an aristocratic residence that was established in December 1590. As he died three month ago, Kano Eitoku may have not seen the completed work with his own eyes.   Japanese people have used a cypress as a high class lumber. The Japanese cypress pillars of the temples, Read more about The Folding Screen Painting of Cypress by Kano Eitoku[…]

Famous Japanese art painting, chinese lions by Kano Eitoku

The Folding Screen Painting of Chinese Lions by Kano Eitoku

  “The folding screen painting of Chinese lions “(唐獅子図屏風絵) It is a painting by Kano Eitoku(1543-1590), a representative painter of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period. He drew two shishis (lions) that most people have not seen though there were no zoo in Japan at that time.   He did not see an actual lion and depicted it. A shishi(獅子), which was regarded as a symbol of power in India or Persia.Then it came through the Silk Road as a sacred beast to Japan. In other words, shishi is imaginary creature, and became unified with koma-inu(guardian dogs) located in shrines, and they have been thought of as guardians.   About Japanese Shinto Shrine   He was in favor Read more about The Folding Screen Painting of Chinese Lions by Kano Eitoku[…]

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, goldfish ukiyo-e prints (Kingyo zukushi)

All kind of goldfish(金魚づくし, Kingyo-zukushi) Utagawa Kuniyoshi(1798-1861) was an ukiyo-e artist who was good at coming up with an ingenious plan for the works. He created woodblock printings freely and drawn a wide range of pictures from impressive to cute.     Kingyo-zukushi is one of the gi-ga(戯画) that the theme is funny picuture. Kuniyoshi personified goldfishes in the 9 ukiyo-e prints and expressed humorously the life of middle class people. Because a lot of them had goldfishes and it would be really familiar and enjoy the printings.           The cheerful drinking party! This side of goldfish plays the shamisen and other two dance with the tadpole(half flog).         Hyakumonogatari was the Read more about Utagawa Kuniyoshi, goldfish ukiyo-e prints (Kingyo zukushi)[…]

Kawase Hasui:biography, woodblock prints artworks and for sale

Kawase Hasui(1883-1957) Kawase Hasui(川瀬巴水)  was a modern Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock print(shin-hanga) artist who played an active part in the early 1900s and the middle. Unfortunately, comparing to Katushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, he has not been so well-known in Japan. But he left 467 works of woodcut prints and received high praise from the other countries.       Kawase Bunjiro(川瀬文治郎) was born in Shiba, Tokyo in 1883 and had a real name of Bunjiro. At the age of 14, he had been taught a Japanese painting by Aoyagi Bokusen(青柳墨川), a disciple of Kawabata Gyokusho(川端玉章), then Araki Kanyu(荒木寛友).   However, at that time, opposed by his parents, he stopped studying pictures in one or two years. After that, Bunjiro helped the Read more about Kawase Hasui:biography, woodblock prints artworks and for sale[…]

Utagawa Hiroshige’s snowy winter scenes ukiyo-e art woodblock prints

The collection of the snowy landscape of Hiroshige’s ukiyo-e Even among the many ukiyo-e artists, Utagawa Hiroshige was particularly good at landscape paintings. The snowy scene that he drew expresses a distinctive quietly.         I would like to introduce 14 works of Hiroshige’s winter landscapes including Kambara, the snow in the night in “Fifty-Three Stages on the Tokaido“.         Mystery of ‘Kambara, the snow in the night’     Kambara is located in Shizuoka prefecture and Kameyama is in Mie prefecture. Hiroshige visited Kambara in the summer, that the land is mild and has almost no snowfall. It is considered one of the mysteries of “Fifty-Three Stages Read more about Utagawa Hiroshige’s snowy winter scenes ukiyo-e art woodblock prints[…]