Japan art and Kikuchi Hōbun (1862-1918)
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist Kikuchi Hōbun (1862-1918) was born into a merchant family during the late Edo Period. Thus Hōbun belongs to the Meiji and Taisho periods of history.
His family sold paintings and calligraphic artwork. Hence from an early age, he understood the monetary angle of art and became intrigued by the beauty he saw. Therefore, Hōbun developed his art gradually before studying under Kono Bairei (1844-1895).
Bairei taught many upcoming artists. This includes Tsuji Kakō, Kawai Gyokudō, Takeuchi Seihō, and Uemura Shoen. Also, similar to his teacher, Hōbun focused heavily on kacho-ga (depicting birds and flowers) art. However, Hōbun also produced amazing cherry blossom art.
He worked at the Kyoto Municipal School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Thus connecting with pupils and expanding ideas in the field of art was a constant theme.
Pupils who studied under Hōbun include Kawakita Kahō, Yamada Kōun, Kikuchi Keigetsu, and Abe Shumpō. Hence, the continuity of art was passed down to the next generation.
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