Japanese art, Goshun, and the influence of Buson: The artistic heaven on earth

Japanese art, Goshun, and the influence of Buson: The artistic heaven on earth

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


Matsumura Goshun (1752-1811) created countless stunning art pieces that reflect nature and serenity. Indeed, some of his art pieces create a collective illusion of beauty, passivity, and a way of life that is based solely on tranquility. Therefore, the art of Goshun conjures up the image of heaven on earth.

Not surprisingly, high culture was extremely important to this sublime artist at a very early age. Hence, on the instructions of his wealthy parents, Goshun focused on classical Chinese and Japanese culture. This encompassed calligraphy, classical history, literature, painting, poetry, and other areas of high culture that impacted greatly on him from a very early age.

Yosa Buson was also instrumental to Goshun in his development of literati painting and haiku poetry. Indeed, in Japan, Buson belongs to the trinity of exceptional Edo poets – the other two being Matsuo Basho and Kobayashi Issa.

Despite coming from a wealthy family and being honored to learn under Buson, he still found it hard to survive from the abundant skills that he was blessed with. Buson, understanding his predicament, opened-up wealthy contacts for Goshun in the field of literature

The early 1780s was extremely bleak for Goshun because his wife, father, and Buson all passed away. Yet, in adversity, he now changed artistic direction because with each passing year the artistic influence of Buson would gradually disappear. Of course, the love and respect bestowed on Goshun by Buson would always remain entrenched within his soul.

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