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Since MeijiPerspectives on the Japanese Visual Arts, 1868-2000$

J. Thomas Rimer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834418

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834418.001.0001

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Western-Style Painting

Western-Style Painting

Four Stages of Acceptance

(p.19) 1 Western-Style Painting
Since Meiji

Emiko Yamanashi

University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the history of Japanese oil painting from 1860 to 1910 by dividing it into four stages that characterize the acceptance of Western-style art in Japan. The first stage took place in about the middle of the eighteenth century, when a number of painters of the Satake clan in Akita began creating works using Western perspective. The second stage took place at the end of the Edo period, which saw the opening of the Technical Art School in 1876 under the auspices of Itō Hirobumi. The third stage began with painters who went to Europe without any prior training in Western art before their departure, led by Kuroda Seiki. In the fourth stage, which took place after Kuroda’s return from Paris, the painters were sufficiently prepared to face the realities of the contemporary art scene in Europe; one of them was Mitsutani Kunishiro. The chapter also considers the differences between the first and second stages, along with the rise of history painting in Japan in the 1880s and 1890s.

Keywords:   Japanese oil painting, Technical Art School, Itō Hirobumi, Western art, Kuroda Seiki, contemporary art, Europe, Mitsutani Kunishiro, Japan

The history of oil painting in Japan can be divided into four stages, which took place in a chronological order determined by Japan’s shifting relationship with the West.

First, let me provide a brief overview of these four periods.

The first stage might well be said to have taken place in about the middle of the eighteenth century, when a number of painters of the Satake clan in Akita began creating works using Western perspective. It is commonly believed that one of the most masterful of the painters in this so-called Akita Ranga school, Odano Naotake (1749–1780) studied these Western techniques with Hiraga Gennai (1728–1779), who was one of the most active participants in the field of Western studies in the seventeenth century. During this first stage, artists were able to study Western methods of painting only through books imported from Holland, China, and Korea. Among the first group of painters who attempted this Westernized style were such well-known figures as Shiba Kokan (1748–1818) (fig. 1.1), Aōdō Denzen (1748–1822), painters from the so-called “Nagasaki school” such as Kawahara Keiga (1786–?), Kawakami Togai (1827–1881), and other members of the department of painting, the gagaku-kyoku, of the Institute for Western Studies1 sponsored by the Bakufu in Edo.

The second stage took place at the end of the Edo period, before the beginning of the Meiji period in 1868. At this stage, painters were able to study with Western artists who actually visited Japan. For example, Takahashi Yuichi (1828–1894), now considered the most important pioneer of Japanese oil painting, began his career as a student in the gagaku-kyoku, mentioned above. We know from the biography of Takahashi2 that at first he was able to study Western methods of painting only through books available to him at the institute. In 1866, however, he began to learn the techniques of oil painting from Charles Wirgman (1823–1891), who had been sent to Japan to work as an illustrator for the British journal The Illustrated London News. Although Wirgman was not a professional oil painter, Takahashi was eventually able to paint such powerful and evocative works as his Salmon and Beancakes based on what he learned from this British artist.3

During this second stage, one of the most important steps taken was the opening of the Technical Art School (Kōbu Bijutsu Gakkō) in 1876.4 The school was founded under the auspices of Itō Hirobumi (1814–1909), at that time minister of industry and technology and soon to be Japan’s first prime minister, with a motto to “increase production and industry.” Three artists from Italy were invited to teach at the school. Antonio Fontanesi (p.20)

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.1. Shiba Kokan, The Coopers, late eighteenth century. Colors on silk. 47 × 60 cm.

Private collection.

(1818–1882) taught in the Department of Painting, Vincenzo Ragusa (1841–1927) in the Department of Sculpture, and Giovanni Cappelletti (1835?–1887) in the Department of Architecture. Important painters such as Asai Chū (1856–1907), Koyama Shōtarō (1857–1916), and Matsuoka Hisashi (1862–1944), among others, studied at the school and so took on important roles in the history of oil painting in Japan during the 1880s and after.

The third stage began with painters who themselves went to Europe without any prior training in Western art before their departure. Among painters in this category are important figures such as Kunisawa Shinkurō (1847–1877), who went to Great Britain in 1870, Kawamura Kiyoo (1852–1934), who went first to the United States in 1871, then to Paris in 1873, and remained in Italy from 1875 to 1881,5 and, most important of all, Kuroda Seiki (1866–1924), who went to Paris for a lengthy stay in 1884.6 These artists undertook a number of significant activities after they returned to Japan. Kunisawa, for example, studied in London with John Wilcome and founded a private school in Tokyo for teaching Western-style painting in 1874 entitled the Shōgidō. Kawamura Kiyoo was first employed by Tokugawa Iesato, who would have become the sixteenth shogun had the regime continued. Kawamura studied with the painters Horase de Callias (?–1921) and Martin Rico Ortega (1833–1908) in Italy, returning to Japan in 1881.

(p.21) Kuroda, however, was to continue on to become one of the most influential painters in the entire Meiji period. Kuroda originally went to Paris to study law and had no training whatsoever in Western painting, or indeed of art at any professional level, before leaving for Europe. After spending some time in France, however, he changed his specialty. It was important for Kuroda’s development as an artist that he was able to learn Western art from the beginning in France, without having gotten into any prior habits in Japan of rendering shapes on paper or canvas. Another noted painter of the period, Kume Keiichirō (1866–1934), who went to Paris to study art at roughly the same time, wrote in his article about his friend that Kuroda was successful in studying Western art at his school in Paris because he did not, as did Kume, have to give up habits learned in prior studies in Tokyo before traveling to Europe.7

The fourth and most significant stage took place after Kuroda’s return from Paris. At this point, most of the painters who went to Europe had had previous training under Japanese painters who themselves had received some European training and experience. Unlike the painters in the third stage, the painters in the fourth stage were sufficiently prepared to face the realities of the contemporary art scene in Europe, since they now had a certain level of knowledge as to how to come to terms with Western traditions of painting and knew, in terms of the contemporary art scene in Japan, what should still be learned from the West. Most of the painters active in the 1900s and after can be included in this group. Among them, perhaps the most significant figures are Wada Eisaku (1874–1959),8 Okada Saburōsuke (1969–1939),9 Kanokogi Takeshirō (1874–1941),10 and Mitsutani Kunishiro (1874–1936).

In this chapter, I would like to provide a general overview of Japanese oil painting from 1860 to 1910, using these four stages to indicate some of the most significant problems encountered.

The First Stage: Book Learning

For painters in the first and second stages, the most important elements for what they understood to be the traditions of Western painting were the representation of nature and the illusion of three-dimensional space. For example, Takahashi Yuichi was surprised at the masterful representation of nature he found in Western lithographs he first saw in the Kaei period (1848–1853), and this encounter helped him decide to take up the study of Western painting. He wrote in his biography that “everything was true to nature” in these lithographs. As mentioned above, there was already an interest among Japanese artists in Western methods of painting, beginning in the middle of the eighteenth century; by the middle of the nineteenth century, ordinary people had become accustomed to seeing such representations. Indeed, there were even popular public tearooms displaying unusual things that would attract customers, such as shika jaya (tearooms with deer), tori jaya (tearooms with birds), and abura-e jaya (rooms with oil paintings). This suggests that lifelike scenes and a trueness to nature had become qualities appreciated by ordinary people. It is noted in an account by Kimura Ki (1894–1979),11 that Takahashi Yuichi’s painting Salmon (see Plate 1), now an Important Cultural Property and hung in the museum of the Tokyo University of Fine Arts, was displayed in the temporary structure erected for a misemono, a kind of “peep show” of unusual items, on the Ginza during the 1870s.12

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Plate 1. Takahashi Yuichi, Salmon, c. 1877. Oil. 139 × 46.6 cm.

Tokyo University of the Arts.

(p.22) The Second Stage: Studying with Western Artists in Japan

Students of the Technical Art School were able to pursue in technical terms the creation of three-dimensional illusion and accurate representations of nature. As we know from the documents that state the purpose of founding the school, the institution was founded “to help hundreds of Japanese traditional industries” and “to learn Western methods of painting in order to reach the level of Western art movements in the near future.”13

In the contract between Fontanesi and the Japanese government, we learn that Fontanesi was asked to teach Western methods of painting such as linear perspective, shading, and the creation of “three-dimensional illusionism.” This kind of curriculum was based on established European methods of training. At first, students were expected to copy small images of landscapes that Fontanesi himself depicted in pencil, after which they were to sketch gypsum figures of human busts and actual landscapes. After these stages, they were to begin to learn to use the medium of oil paint.14 Fontanesi adopted these teaching methods, but at the same time he urged his students to “listen to the voices and songs of nature” and encouraged them to seek to represent their own aesthetic tastes in their paintings. In the notes taken by Fuji Masazō (1853–1916), one of the students in the school,15 we read that Fontanesi taught his students not to depict both a pretty woman and lovely flowers in the same painting, since the viewer would be confused as to how to focus on the main subject. Fontanesi encouraged his students to make precise sketches from nature and to eliminate motifs based merely on their own aesthetic tastes when completing a work. From examining the paintings by his students created during the period, it seems clear that at first they followed their teacher’s ideas but later developed their own ways of capturing nature. For instance, a sketch of Yamashita Rin (1857–1939) appears to be made from nature but is in fact a copy made from an image created by Fontanesi.

Although Fontanesi was successful in training his students, he decided to return to Italy in 1878 because of illness. His replacement, a teacher by the name of Ferletti, did not satisfy the students; eleven, including several who were to become well-known artists in later decades, among them Asai Chū (fig. 1.2), Koyama Shōtarō, Matsuoka Hisashi, and Takahashi Genkichi, left the school in November and founded their own Association of Eleven (Jūichi Kai) to continue developing their skills through their own efforts.

Early in the 1880s, these movements toward Westernization began to weaken from their primacy in the 1870s, which had, after all, produced the government-sponsored Technical Art School, with its entirely European-style curriculum. Influenced by Ernest Fenollosa (1853–1908), an American enthusiast for the Japanese arts, particularly by his 1882 lecture “Bijitsu shinsetsu” (An explanation of the truth of art),16 a movement by more conservative forces to keep certain aspects of the Japanese tradition alive became increasingly powerful. In his lecture, Fenollosa emphasized the importance of maintaining the traditions of Japanese painting, especially those of the Kano School, and questioned the value of Westernized art. In the midst of such conservative forces, the Technical Arts School was closed in 1883, and works created in Westernized modes were eliminated from such important public exhibitions as the first and second Domestic Exhibition of Painting (Naikoku kaiga kyōshinkai) in 1882 and 1884. Those artists interested in creating painting or sculpture in the Western manner had to continue working despite the cold winds that thwarted their enthusiasm and their will. (p.23)

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.2. Asai Chū, Harvest, 1890. Oil on canvas. 69.5 × 100.0 cm.

Tokyo University of the Arts.

Differences Between the First and Second Stages

As Takahashi Yuichi wrote in his autobiographical memoir, one difference between the first and second stages was that artists in the first stage could only gather abstract information from books; they could not actually see the brushes, palette, and other items central to the work of artists working oils. They could not comprehend the proper methods for using oil pigments or the technique of a painting knife, so it is not surprising that there were no masterful painters of this kind in the first years of contact. By studying their works that remain, it is clear that their interests focused on learning Western techniques of layout and perspective. Working as they did within the intellectual and artistic framework on Edoperiod conceptions of shoga (painting and calligraphy), there were relatively few changes in the manner in which the art of painting was defined or evaluated. For example, the genre of landscape—sansui, mountain and water—was still considered the highest form of subject matter, thus continuing a long and venerated tradition.

The artists in the second stage, however, were able for the first time to actually see these Western materials used for painting; not only did they see them, but they learned to use them. They also began to learn fresh ideas, unusual for them, as to the definition of painting and the standards by which individual works should be judged. In that sense, then, there was a deepening in the understanding of Western-style painting from the first stage to the second.

(p.24) The 1880s and 1890s: The rise of History Painting

At the end of the 1880s, history painting began to flourish in the Western-style painting circles in Japan. One reason for this was the establishment in 1889 of Japan’s new constitution and, in a sense, a formal beginning of a new sense of Japanese history itself. The creation of a coherent narrative of Japan’s past during the Meiji period could only be undertaken after the successful institutionalization of various political and social issues, since all narratives of history need an assigned and approved social and political background. Since the historical narrative developed from an orthodoxy that required the continuation of the power and centrality of the imperial family, new heroes from Japanese history emerged in the Meiji period. Yōga, or Western-style oil painting, was deemed an effective medium with which to represent these historical figures in a lifelike manner. A number of artists were active in drawing illustrations for history textbooks used in elementary or junior high schools. When the third Domestic Industrial Exposition was held in 1890, many works depicting such historical narratives were exhibited in the art section, and

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.3. Honda Kinkichirō, Celestial in Feather Robes, 1890. Oil on canvas. 127 × 89 cm.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe.

(p.25) some of them won prizes, such as the Celestial in Feather Robes of Honda Kinkichirō (1850–1921) (fig. 1.3), and the rendering of Sakuma Bungo (1868–1914) of The Message from the Usa Hachiman Shrine to the Empress.17

At this time, an argument arose as to the value of such historical paintings.18 Toyama Masakazu (1848–1900) was a noted scholar who studied both chemistry and philosophy in England and America at the University of Michigan and eventually became president of Tokyo Imperial University. In a celebrated lecture, he argued that history paintings were not appropriate for the development of modern Japanese painting and emphasized instead the importance of genre painting to depict ordinary life. He expressed his belief that such paintings were not attractive to viewers, since the painters who created them did not seem to believe in those figures or in the historical facts concerning them. In response, the noted doctor, writer, and intellectual Mori Ōgai (1862–1922) opposed these views and stated his conviction that paintings must be judged and appreciated not by their subject matter but by their style and the means of expression used in their creation.19 Hayashi Tadamasa (1853–1906), an important art dealer living in Paris who did much to introduce the French and other Europeans to traditional Japanese art, also took part in the debate, stating his conviction that contemporary Japanese oil painters did not have the requisite skill to create effective historical canvases.20

So although these paintings were not always well accepted, the creation of them in the 1890s should be recognized as representing an important step in the acceptance of Western painting, which had as its goal among the Japanese artists a natural and realistic representation of nature.

The Third Stage: Kuroda Seiki and the Development of Painting after His Return from Paris

In 1893, Kuroda Seiki returned to Tokyo after a stay of nine years in Paris. He originally went to France to study law, but he changed his specialty to painting around 1887. Although Kuroda had originally started his preparations to enter law school, he made friends with several artists who had come to Paris to study, as well as the by now famous dealer in Japanese art, Hayashi Tadamasa, mentioned above, whose celebrated antique store was near the Paris Opera. The painter Kume Keiichirō, who had come to Paris to study art, played a particularly important role in encouraging Kuroda, as they became close friends and shared an apartment together. On one occasion, the painter Fuji Masazō, also mentioned above, asked Kuroda, whose French was excellent, to come with him to visit the studio of the famous artist and teacher Raphaël Collin (1950–1916),21 with whom Fuji was studying, to serve as an interpreter. Through such encounters, Kuroda began to know something of the lives of artists in Paris and developed a lively interest in art. Concerning the change in his course of study, Kuroda wrote to his father-in-law:

At the beginning, I evaluated painting as a less important issue in society, and so when I originally studied painting with Mr. Hosoda in Japan, I gave up very quickly. It was because I was so eager to gain fame in the world of politics that I was convinced that only politicians, or political candidates, were true human beings. But I came to (p.26) realize after deep consideration that art could be as important as politics if it were pursued to the very highest level. Moreover, the life of an artist could be more enjoyable than that of a politician, since artists work very closely with nature. So I believe it would be more satisfying to spend my life on art.22

Kuroda began his studies with Raphaël Collin, joining Fuji and Kume, and so received a training based on the established principles of French academic art. He began with charcoal drawing of gypsum busts, then made charcoal drawings of nude figures, and finally learned to paint in oils, often visiting the Louvre to copy paintings of the old masters he found there. By 1891 he was able to exhibit his work titled Femme (Woman reading) at the Salon des Artists Françaises in 1891 and his Le Lever (Morning toilette) (fig. 1.4) at the Salon de la Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1893.

After returning to Japan, Kuroda’s work and example brought changes to Japanese painting in several respects. Generally speaking, he took on the role not only of making stylistic changes to then prevalent ideas of subject matter, composition, and the use of color, but of establishing the social and cultural importance of the concept of bijutsu (“fine arts”) in Japan.

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.4. Kuroda Seiki, Morning Toilette, 1893. Oil on canvas. 178.5 × 98 cm.

Destroyed by fire in World War II.

(p.27) One of the influential ideas backed by Kuroda concerned an emphasis, based on the training he himself had received in Paris, on the importance of “grand scale painting” (kōsōga), which aimed at creating a Japanese version of the kind of large-scale historical composition then appreciated in official circles in Europe.23 Kuroda attempted such a work himself with his Telling an Ancient Romance (fig. 1.5, destroyed during the Pacific War), which he worked on from 1896 to 1898. From the drawings and sketches that remain, it is clear that in his mind, kōsōga must involve a historical narrative as its subject, and he planned for groups of people posing in a landscape. For Kuroda, the subject matter for such a painting should express eternal values such as love, peace, or courage, and, in this context, the depicted human figures in the painting are best portrayed in the nude, since clothing invariably reflects a particular historical and cultural background. Such logic remained one of the strongest reasons Kuroda emphasized the importance for artists of studying the nude figure.

Kuroda had to struggle with contemporary social values in advocating the study of the nude figure, since there was a strong public opposition to paintings of nude figures.24 One of the reasons for this opposition against paintings of nudes, ironically, involved the kind of social strictures established by the Meiji government that would permit Japan to appear to Europeans and Americans as a “modern” nation-state.25 Following Japanese perceptions of European morality, behind which was perceived to lay a strong Christian context, the Meiji government in 1873 prohibited nudity in public. As many Westerners who came to Japan in the 1860s and 1870s pointed out, there seemed to be no restrictions on nudity or partial nudity: men found it comfortable to roll up the ends of their kimonos to their hips, young mothers gave milk to their babies in public, and there were many communal

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.5. Kuroda Seiki, Telling an Ancient Romance, 1898. Oil on canvas. 189 × 307 cm.

Destroyed by fire in World War II.

(p.28) baths in which men and women shared the same tubs. Some Westerners admired this natural ease, since they took Japan to be some kind of paradise before the expulsion of Adam and Eve. But most Westerners took such behavior as the savage custom of an undeveloped country. It was to prevent such impressions of savagery that the Meiji government passed the law in 1873, which soon led the public to a conviction that being naked in public was somehow wrong, an attitude that caused difficulty in the acceptance of nude painting. When Kuroda’s Le Lever, which, as noted earlier, had been accepted for the Salon in 1893, was exhibited at the Fine Arts Pavilion of the Fourth Domestic Industrial Exposition held in Kyoto in 1895, a number of complaints arose; the public felt uncomfortable with a nude painting in a pavilion dedicated to the fine arts and asked for its removal. Kuroda was surprised at the differences in audiences in the West and in Japan, expressing his feelings in a letter written to a friend.

It is amusing to see what is happening about my nude painting. Even policemen come to make research on this issue. There has been a great deal of response to my work in the past two days. But if nude paintings are forbidden to be shown in public, this would be unfortunate, since this means that the Japanese people will not be able to study the human nude in the future. How could it be possible to look at all paintings of the nude simply as erotic images? According to the universal principles of aesthetics, and keeping in mind the future of Japanese art, studying the nude is not only not wrong, it is very necessary. How can we say that Japan is an artistic nation if we continue to depict human figures as wooden dolls? In short, people who argue about nude paintings demonstrate merely that such painting is strange to them, since they are not accustomed to seeing such works. How silly they are! For what, and for whom, is art created?26

In the end, the painting was not removed from the pavilion, since the jury responsible for the exposition issued a statement saying that in their view there was no compelling reason to do so.

In 1896, Kuroda became an instructor in the newly established section of Western-style painting in the Tokyo Art School. In the same year, with a group of like-minded artists who also took in students, he began a group named the White Horse Society (Hakubakai). In both, Kuroda introduced a class designed to train students in sketching live, nude models.

Along with these changes, Kuroda was also active in helping to establish a high social position for the fine arts. As the first teacher of Western-style painting at the Tokyo Art School, Kuroda was influential in raising the social position of oil painting, which, as noted above, had fallen from favor because of conservative movements in the art world that began in the 1880s. The White Horse Society stimulated those artists belonging to the Meiji Art Association (Meiji bijutsu kai), and such enthusiasm led to the establishment of the Pacific Art Association (Taiheiyō ga kai) in 1902.27

Kuroda was also active in promoting the opening of the first yearly government-sponsored exhibition, the so-called Bunten, which began its activities in 1907. There were three divisions in these exhibitions: Japanese-style painting (Nihonga), painting in Western style (seiyōga), and sculpture (chokoku).28 The definition of these three areas established at that time has persisted until today. During the first decade of these exhibitions, the White (p.29) Horse Society and the Pacific Art Association remained the two most influential groups of participating painters. Kuroda himself was on the jury of the Bunten from the first exhibition in 1907 to his death in 1924. The Bunten was established using the French Salon as its model, and these exhibitions played an important role in helping to support the continuation of the spirit of academism in the Japanese art world. All these changes Kuroda helped bring about came as a result of his experiences in France as an art student.

The Fourth Stage: The Generation following Kuroda

The year 1900 was a notable one in the history of Japanese art, since many artists went to Paris because of the Exposition Universelle de Paris. These artists belong to a fourth stage of the acceptance of Western-style art in Japan; they underwent artistic training under Japanese instructors who had themselves studied in Europe. Among them were Wada Eisaku (see Plate 2) and Okada Saburōsuke, both of whom studied with Kuroda and belonged to the White Horse Society, as well as Kanokogi Takeshirō (1874–1941) (fig. 1.6), Mitsutani Kunishirō (1874–1936), and Nakamura Fusetsu (1866–1943), who studied with Koyama Shōtarō and Asai Chū. Interestingly enough, the students of Kuroda studied with Raphaël Collin at the Académie Colarossi, and the students of Koyama studied with Jean-Paul Laurens at the Académie Julian.

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Plate 2. Wada Eisaku, Evening at the Ferry, 1897. Oil on canvas. 126 × 190 cm.

Tokyo University of the Arts.

As is well known, the so-called Art Nouveau style was flourishing at the 1900 Paris Exposition. It is also recognized that Art Nouveau had something in common with Japanese traditional painting in terms of its two-dimensionality, decorative quality, and an emphasis on linear expression. The artists who studied in France around 1900 noted these new directions in European painting and brought this new information back to the art world in Japan. But, on the other hand, those painters who were sent to Paris had to take the responsibility as well for contributing to the firm establishment of academism in the art world. As can be seen in the work of Wada, Okada, and Kanokogi, their styles were based on those employed in the French salon painting of the late nineteenth century, even though certain new elements of decorativeness and a two-dimensional quality did enter into their styles.

It was in 1912 that a truly new stylistic movement opposing the older academic style occurred in Japan. New European movements such as post-impressionism and fauvism were introduced from Europe through illustrations in periodicals and books, and, of course, by those artists who had studied in Europe. Such journals as Bijutsu shinpō, Mizue, and Shirakaba began to be published, and through them European old masters such as Jan Van Eyck, Durer, and Rembrandt were introduced, along with the new movements. There were some younger painters, such as Kishida Ryūsei (1891–1929) (fig. 1.7) and his friends, who took a strong interest in the old classic arts of Europe. Many new groups, with differing points of view, were now established, among them the Second Division Group (Nikakai), in which Yamashita Shintarō (1881–1966) (fig. 1.8) and Ishii Hakutei (1882–1958) were active, along with the oil painting department of the Japan Art Institute (Inten) and the Association of Spring Sun (Shun’yōkai), where such artists as Kosugi Misei (1881–1964) and Morita Tsunetomo (1881–1933) were influential. Kishida’s group, called the Grass and Earth Society (Sōdōsha) played an important role as well. By 1912, a whole new and richly diverse era had opened in the world of Japanese oil painting. (p.30)

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.6. Kanokogi Takeshirō, Portrait of a Woman, 1901–1903. Oil on canvas. 73 × 45.7 cm.

Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto.


Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.7. Kishida Ryūsei, Still Life (Three Red Apples, Cup, Can, Spoon), 1920. Oil on canvas. 36.5 × 44 cm.

Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki.

Western-Style PaintingFour Stages of Acceptance

Figure 1.8. Yamashita Shintarō, Offering, 1915. Oil on canvas. 55 × 45.7 cm.

Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo.

(p.32) Notes


(1.) For information on these artists, the exhibition catalogue Shajitsu no keifu-yōfu hyōgen no genryū (The heritage of natural representation: Origins of Westernization), published by the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, in 1985–1986, is helpful.

(2.) The biography is available in a modern edition, Takahashi Yuichi rireki: Takahashi Yuichi yuga shiryō, edited by Aoki Shigeru and published by Chūōkōrosha bijutsu shuppan in 1984

(3.) For detailed information on Takahashi Yuichi, see Hijikata Teiichi, Takahashi Yuichi (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1972), and the catalogue for an exhibition on the artist held at the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura in 1994 titled Takahashi Yuichi.

(4.) See Aoki Shigeru, Fontanesi to kōbu bijutsu gakkō (Tokyo: Shinbundo, 1978), and the exhibition catalogue Fontanesi, Ragusa to Meiji zenki no bijutsu, held at the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo in 1977, and another similar exhibition held at the Teien Museum in 1977.

(5.) For information on Kawamura, see Miwa Hideo, Kawamura Kiyoo kenkyū (Tokyo: Chūōkōronsha bijutsu shuppan, 1994), and the catalogue for an exhibition of his work shown at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum in 1994 titled Kawamura Kiyoo.

(6.) There is an extensive bibliography of Kuroda. See, among others, Kumamoto Kenjirō, Kuroda Seiki (Tokyo: Nihon keizai shimbunsha, 1966), as well as Kumamoto’s edited multivolume Kuroda Seiki nikki (Tokyo: Chūōkōronsha bijutsu shuppan, 1966) and Kuroda’s Kaiga no shorai (Tokyo: Chūōkōronsha bijutsu shuppan, 1982).

(7.) For details on Kume and his career, see his Hogan bijutsu ron (Tokyo: Chūōkōron bijutsu shuppan, 1984), and his Kume Keiichirō nikki (The diary of Kume Keiichirō) (Tokyo: Chūōkōron bijutsu shuppan, 1990).

(8.) For Wada, see the exhibition catalogue of his works shown at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum in 1998.

(9.) Details on Okada’s career can be found in the catalogue for an exposition of his works held at the Saga Prefectural Museum in 1993.

(10.) See the catalogue for an exhibition of his works held at the Mie Prefectural Museum in 1990 and another held at the Fuchu Municipal Museum of Art in 2001.

(11.) Kimura was a writer and critic, born in Okayama Prefecture, and a graduate of Waseda University. He worked as the editor of Ikubun-kan and Shunju-sha while publishing various articles and translations. He composed works of fiction and also did research in various aspects of Meiji culture and literature.

(12.) For details, see Kinoshita Naoyuki, Bijjitsu to iu misemono (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1993).

(13.) See the exhibition catalogue Antonio Fontanesi and Japanese Modern Art, published by the Teien Museum, Tokyo, in 1997, p. 148.

(14.) These details can also be found in the 1997 Teien catalogue mentioned in note 13.

(15.) These notes can be found in Komamoto Kenjirō, Meiji shoki raicho Irtaria Bijutuka no kenkyū (Tokyo: Yashio shoten, 1942).

(16.) For an account of Fenollosa and the contents of the lecture, see J. Thomas Rimer, “Hegel in Tokyo,” in Japanese Hermeneutics: Current Debates on Aesthetics and Interpretation, ed. Michael Marra (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002).

(17.) For details on these paintings, see Takashina Shūji, “History Painting in the Meiji (p.33) Era,” in Challenging Past and Present: the Metamorphosis of Nineteenth-Century Japanese Art, ed. Ellen Conant (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006).

(18.) See various entries in Nakamura Yoshikazu, Nihon kindai bijutsu ronsō shi (Tokyo: Kyruru-do, 1982).

(19.) For additional details, see J. Thomas Rimer, “Mori Ōgai’s Phantom Partner,” in Challenging Past and Present: the Metamorphosis of Nineteenth-Century Japanese Art, ed. Ellen Conant (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006).

(20.) For details on Hayashi and his contributions, see the catalogue for the exhibition Hayashi Tadamasa no me, held at the Takaoka Municipal Museum of Art in 1996.

(21.) For details on Collin, see the catalogue on the exhibition on Collin held at the Station Gallery, Tokyo, and elsewhere in Japan in 1999.

(22.) From a letter to Kuroda’s father-in-law, written on April 8, 1887. See Kuroda Seiki nikki [The diary of Kuroda Seiki] (Tokyo: Chūōkōron bijutsu shuppan, 1966).

(23.) For a useful discussion of kōsōga, see Takashina Shūji, “Kuroda Seiki,” in Kindai Bijutsushi-ron (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1972).

(24.) For various issues involved in the argument of nudity in art, see Nakamura Yoshikazu, Nihon kindai bijutsu ronsō shi (Tokyo: Kyūryūdo, 1982).

(25.) See Tano Yasunori, “Kyokuto Asia no rataizo,” in Kataru genzai katarareru kako, ed. National Research Institute of Cultural Properties (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1997).

(26.) From a letter addressed to Kume Keiichiro and Goda Kiyoshi, dated March 28, 1895, found in Kuroda Seiki, Kaiga no shorai, p. 273.

(27.) For details on these groups and their importance, see the exhibition catalogue for Mo hitotsu no Meiji bijutsu, held at the Fuchu Municipal Museum and elsewhere in 2003.

(28.) For the history of Bunten, see the five-volume history of Bunten, Nittenshi hensan Iinkai, ed., Nittenshi, 1980.