Japan art and Keishu Takeuchi (1861-1942)

Japan art and Keishu Takeuchi (1861-1942)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Keishu Takeuchi (1861-1942) came from the samurai class. His father served the daimyo of Kishio. However, Takeuchi would follow a completely different path during the modernization of Japan.

By the 1890s, Takeuchi did illustration work, painting of porcelain, and woodblock prints influenced by ukiyo-e. Hence, he developed many skills to survive the convulsions of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912).

The Minato City website says, “Takeuchi studied drawing under Masanobu Karino and Yoshitoshi Tsukioka and started drawing illustrations for novels from around 1887. He created illustrations for novels by Koyo Ozaki and Bizan Kawakami of Kenyusha, and it was said that the novels by the popular writer Koyo were particularly associated with Takeuchi’s illustrations. After drawing the illustrations for the fairy tale by his contemporary at Kenyusha, Sazanami Iwaya, he drew many Japanese-style fairy tale illustrations for children’s magazines.”

His elder brother tragically killed himself when Takeuchi was in his late teenage years. Shortly after, he decided to abandon the art school of Kano and search for a new direction.

Takeuchi adored the progressive ambiance of a prestigious restaurant in Koyokan (Shiba Park) in Tokyo. Other artists, writers, and individuals with new ideas also frequented the same restaurant. Therefore, a powerful place for old-style networking.

He also produced delightful watercolors.


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