Japan Art and Ogata Gekko: Animals and Mount Fuji

Japan Art and Ogata Gekko: Animals and Mount Fuji

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ogata Gekkō (1859-1920) witnessed the enormous convulsions of the Meiji Period (1868-1912). However, despite Gekkō depicting aspects of modernization, his world was focused on art.

In the first art piece, the fusion of Mount Fuji, monkeys, and the stunning landscape works a treat. The snow-capped Mount Fuji provides a sense of continuity where the spirits of Shinto can dwell.

In the next art piece, deer are relaxing on a lovely bridge. Once more, the landscape looks stunning – and the deer complete the feeling of serenity.

The Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art says, “Ogata Gekko (1859-1920) was active as an artist from the Meiji to Taisho periods. Gekko did not have a teacher and learned his artistry on his own, but produced a great number of oshi-e fabric pictures and woodblock prints, and is representative of the popular artists of the age. His subject matter was wide and far-ranging and included Edo and Meiji landscapes, figure prints and ancient legends; his works appealed to many people of the age with their rich expressiveness—from delicate and sensitive flowers and beautiful women to powerful heroes.”

In the last art piece, the horse looks free and is running with gay abandon and enjoying life. Indeed, the horse – similar to the artist Gekkō – is free from the constraints of life.

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