Japan Art and Bunya Ioki: Meiji Artist

Japan Art and Bunya Ioki: Meiji Artist

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Bunya Ioki (Bun’ya) was born in 1863 during the late Edo Period. He died in 1906 during the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Ioki created stunning watercolors during a period of rapid change in Japan. Accordingly, the art scene in Japan altered greatly from the traditional ways of ukiyo-e, rinpa (rimpa), and the famous schools of Tosa and Kano – and other traditional art forms that served Japan well.

His notable art concerns flowers and plants (still lifes), seascapes, and adorable landscapes. Thus his Western-style watercolors hit a chord with the Meiji modernizers who sought a fresh approach.

Other artists during the Meiji Period inspired by Western-style art include Jirokichi Kasagi, Shotaro Koyama, Kuroda Seiki, and Hiroshi Yoshida.

One can only imagine the world of his parents – and the world that Ioki witnessed through the eyes of a person shaped by Meiji Japan.

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