Miki Suizan and Taisho art: Culture of Kyoto
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Miki Suizan (1887-1957) was born in Hyogo Prefecture during the Meiji Period. However, the art in this article concerns the views of Kyoto during the late Taisho Period (1912-1926).
In 1924 and 1925, Suizan produced 14 lovely art pieces for Sato Shotaro. These consisted of bijin-ga (beautiful young ladies) and landscapes of Kyoto. Therefore, the cultural traits of Kyoto can be felt – from fashion to Buddhist temples.
The Lavenberg Collection of Japanese Prints says, “His birth name was Miki Saiichirō and he likely took the gō (artist name) Suizan while studying Japanese-style painting from 1903 to 1913 with the famous Kyoto nihonga painter Takeuchi Seihō (1864-1942). Starting in 1913 he exhibited at the government-sponsored exhibitions Bunten and its successors Teiten and Shin-Bunten.”
Seihō’s artistic development grew dramatically under Kōno Bairei (Maruyama-Shijō School of Art). The freshness of Seihō continued during the Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa periods of Japanese history. Therefore, Seihō blessed Suizan enormously during his informative years.
The gracefulness of these prints by Suizan is a credit to the different art styles that he knew. Hence, one can imagine the richness of everyday life in Kyoto in these art pieces – and the cultural legacy of this famous city that continues today.
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