Japan art and Hishida Shunsō: The ticking clock of life

Japan art and Hishida Shunsō: The ticking clock of life

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The amazing art of Hishida Shunsō (1874-1911) is a wonder to behold. However, the ticking clock of life abruptly ended when he was 36 years of age. Therefore, one can only imagine the artistic heights that Shunsō would have reached.

Indeed, knowing his life was ebbing away – along with the fear of losing his eyesight – Shunsō would make the most of brief periods of hope during his last few years on this earth. He suffered kidney-related complications. Hence, he would sometimes work frantically when his health relented.

The Adachi Museum of Art says, “Hishida Shunso was born in Nagano Prefecture. He studied under Okakura Tenshin and Hashimoto Gaho in the Tokyo Fine Art School. In 1898, he participated in the establishment of the Japan Art Institute. Alongside Yokoyama Taikan, he was devoted to the creation of a new style of Japanese paintings that illustrated keen senses, foresight, and intelligence. He accomplished this through the use of many techniques such as morotai method (vague style of painting).”

He met many esteemed Japanese artists during his relatively short life. Hence, his relocation to Tokyo enabled his art to blossom. Therefore, artistic innovation and creativity became a hallmark of Shunsō.

Even before the onset of kidney-related complications, the eyesight of Shunsō was a concern. Thus knowing that he was destined for even greater artistic heights, he must have felt a sense of foreboding during the last few years of his life.

Shunsō – knowing that the ebbing of life was ticking faster and faster – left this world at a young age. Also, his declining eyesight brought further angst – at a time when he should have been contemplating a bright future ahead. Therefore, the ticking clock of life ended for this esteemed artist after a soul-wrenching last few years on this earth.



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