Koyama Shōtarō and Japan art (1857-1916)
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist Koyama Shōtarō (1857-1916) was born in the late Edo Period. Hence, his art belongs mainly to the Meiji Period (1868-1912) of Japanese history – while passing away in the early Taisho Period (1912-1926).
Koyama was one of the early Yōga (Western-style painting) artists that ushered in the modernization of art during the Meiji era.
He was born in Niigata Prefecture in the city of Nagaoka. However, he moved to Tokyo when young and studied at a British learning school in the capital of Japan.
His early teacher was Kawakami Tōgai (1828-1881). Thus, Koyama was blessed to study under this teacher who also taught many future distinguished artists. These include Matsuoka Hisashi, Kawamura Kiyoo, Nakamaru Seijuro, and Takahashi Yuichi.
Antonio Fontanesi from Italy and Abel Guerineau from France also influenced Koyama. Guerineau taught watercolor painting to Koyama – while Fontanesi was instrumental in teaching Western-style art during this period of Japanese history.
Koyama remained on the margins concerning his personal art during his lifetime. However, his legacy is important because he taught many future distinguished artists. These include Nakamura Fusetsu, Yoshida Hiroshi, Mitsutani Kunishiro, Aoki Shigeru, and Kanokogi Takeshiro.
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