Hanabusa Itchō (1652-1724) and Japan art
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Hanabusa Itchō (1652-1724) was a very independent-minded artist who was born in the Edo Period. Artistically, he wasn’t afraid to challenge convention.
Initially, Itchō studied Kano-style art. Thus, Kano Yasunobu enriched Itchō’s early art. However, he was more famous for his poetry. Also, Itchō created his distinctive art after seeking to break free from the artistic traits of Kano.
The esteemed Matsuo Bashō nurtured Itchō’s poetry skills. Itchō was also a noted calligrapher. Therefore, he developed his respective skills with a rich passion.
His nonconformist approach entailed that after being expelled from the art school of Kano, Itchō would seek artistic patronage outside of traditional elites. However, his art led him to prison and exile between 1698-1710. Therefore, Itchō faced many bleak moments.
Overall, Itchō had little time for convention concerning his lifestyle. Hence, his poetry highlighted his free spirit. Similarly, in the realm of art – and despite prison and exile – he wasn’t afraid to challenge himself and seek new ideas.
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