Japan art and Imamura Shiko (1880-1916)

Japan art and Imamura Shikō (1880-1916)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Imamura Shikō (1880-1916) was a visionary. However, he died very young; one can only imagine his legacy if he had lived longer.

He famously said, “I break the Old Nihonga. You should follow me and build New Nihonga.”

In the first art piece, the Artizon Museum says, “What Shiko aimed at with this painting was to cause one to imagine ancient times. The flat planes of color, with no clear outlines, and the background’s dull gleam from the gold leaf that Shiko applied to the underside of the silk on which he was painting help dramatize a world of myth.” 

Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) – and many other artists – were influenced by Shikō. Accordingly, long after his death, Shikō still influenced the Japanese art scene during the Taisho and early Showa periods of history.

Matsumoto Fūko (1840-1923) taught Shikō during his informative period. Fūko immediately understood the talent of Shikō. However, despite being born 40 years after his early mentor, Shikō would pass away from this world before Fūko. Therefore, one can only imagine how Shikō would have progressed artistically – given his independent mind.


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