Kawai Gyokudo and Japan art: Meiji artist

Kawai Gyokudō and Japan art: Meiji Artist

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kawai Gyokudō (1873-1957) is famous for Nihonga art after being influenced by the Maruyama-Shijō School of Art. His life spans the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods of Japan. However, his artistic development in Kyoto left a lasting legacy.

The esteemed Kōno Bairei taught Kikuchi Hōbun, Tsuji Kakō, Kawai Gyokudō, Takeuchi Seihō, Uemura Shoen, and many other artists. Bairei was known to be a strict teacher – however, a teacher who opened up many new ideas to his pupils. Therefore, Gyokudō was in good hands under his early guidance.

The Gyokudo Art Museum says, “Mr. Gyokudo KAWAI (was) a great master of Japanese painting, contributed to the advancement of Japanese art and culture through the three periods of Meiji, Taisho. and Showa. protecting the essence of traditional Japanese painting and developing a serene and refined style of his own.” 

In 1896, Gyokudō relocated to Tokyo. He then studied under the esteemed Hashimoto Gahō. Hence, he studied the intricacies of the art school of Kano. Indeed, his teacher in Tokyo was one of the last great artists of this famous school of art – that blessed Japan for many centuries.

Gyokudō also adored landscape painting. Thus a lovely fusion of art inspired him throughout this artistic lifetime.


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