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Tsuji Kakô (1870-1931)
Moon at Emeishan Mountain. Emeishan getsu zu (Ensô)
Signed: Kakô
Seals: Kakô
Technique: sumi on paper 39.4 x 52
Mounting: beige raw silk
124.5 x 55.8
Condition: lightly soiled, otherwise good

Most probably this painting refers to the bunjin theme of "the memorable journey to the red cliffs". In 208 BC a Chinese naval battle was fought on the Yangzi. This event was commemorated in two prose-poems, in Japan called: "Red Cliff Odes" by the Song poet Su Shi (1037-1101) . (lit. Rosenfield Vol. 2, p. 132)

Kakô was one the most important painters of the modern Kyoto school. Kôno Bairei (1844-95) taught both him and Takeuchi Seihô (1864-1942), who eclipsed Kakô during his lifetime. In my opinion though, Kakô was the better artist, more innovative and daring. The tide is turning now and his art is getting the recognition it deserves.

Kakô was born in Kyoto. His father was a Yûzen textile artisan, who encouraged his son to pursue a career in painting. He became a pupil of Bairei in 1880. From 1899 on he studied Zen under the Zen master Sôen Mokurai (1854-1930) at the Kennin-ji. Zen became quite an important element in his work. He served as director of the Kyoto Municipal School of Fine Arts and Crafts, adjudicator for the Teiten and several Kyoto exhibition groups and up to 1920 he was a frequent exhibitor and prize-winner at the Bunten.

Kyoto 2006
Berry & Morioka ‘99 p.40-53 (# 29-45)
Conant p. 327 (# 117-119)
Aburai p. 253-254
Roberts p.189
Araki p. 2027

Price: EUR 1,000 / USD 1,100