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Kōzō Sasaki

[Tanomura Kōzō; Chikuden; Chikuden Rōho; Chikuden Sonmin; Kujō Senshi]

(b Takeda, Bungo Prov. [now Ōita Prefect.], Kyushu, 1777; d Osaka, 1835).

Japanese poet, painter and theorist. He was born into a family of physicians in service to the Oka clan of Bungo Province. He first studied medicine, but later became an instructor in Confucian studies at the clan school, the Yūgakukan. In 1801–2 Chikuden studied the verse of China’s Song period (960–1279) in Edo (now Tokyo). During this time he was also painting landscapes in the style of Dong Qichang, a painter of the Ming period (1368–1644). From 1805 to 1807 he continued his literary training in Kyoto, where he befriended Uragami Gyokudō and Okada Beisanjin, who were exponents of literati painting (Bunjinga or Nanga; see Japan §VI 4., (vi), (d)), and from this time he was determined to establish himself as a literati poet and painter.

Chikuden continued painting after his arrival in Kyoto, and his style became more experimental as a result of his contact both with Japanese painters who copied Chinese painting and woodblock-printed books and with original works by Chinese artists. He executed portraits of beautiful women (...


Karen M. Gerhart

[Kasetsudō, Chōudō]

(b Kii Prov. [now Wakayama Prefect.], 1746; d 1799).

Japanese painter, art critic and theorist. His family was descended from a tea master and samurai vassal of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, but by the time of Gyokushū’s birth the Kuwayama had given up Samurai status and become well-to-do shipping merchants. His highly influential essay on literati art (Nanga; see Japan §VI 4., (vi), (d)), Kaiji higen (‘Humble words on painting’), was published posthumously in 1800 by the patron, collector and painter Kimura Kenkadō. In 1790 Gyokushū published Gyokushū gashū (‘Collected works of Gyokushū’), which explains the importance to Japanese artists of the theories of Dong Qichang, a Chinese artist and theorist of the Ming period (1368–1644). Both treatises attest to Gyokushū’s understanding of literati aesthetics.

Gyokushū’s earlier paintings show meticulous brushwork in the service of descriptive naturalism. This was the style of the new Nagasaki School based on Chinese models (see Japan §VI 4., (vi), (c)...


Pyŏn Yŏng-Sŏp

[cha Kwangji; ho P’yoam, P’yo’ong]

(b 1713; d 1791).

Korean painter, calligrapher and critic. He was born into a prominent literati family in Seoul and became the most influential connoisseur and critic of his time. At the age of 31 he moved to Ahnsan, near Seoul, where he lived for about 30 years. During this time he developed and completed his artistic identity, concentrating on producing various works of art–poetry, calligraphy and paintings. At the age of 61 he took up a civil service post for the first time. This presumably caused him to move back to Seoul, where he lived until his death. While he was in the service he did not lose his enthusiasm for creating art. His late works show a greater refinement and nobleness. In 1784 he travelled to China as an envoy to Beijing, where his paintings and calligraphy were greatly admired.

Kang Se-hwang played a pivotal role in the Korean artistic world of the late Chosŏn period through his comments and criticism and his innovations. He adapted the style of the Chinese Southern school, producing a Korean literati style (...


Mark H. Sandler

[Yoshiatsu; Dairoku]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1748; d ?Akita, 1785).

Japanese painter and daimyo. Lord of the domain of Akita in Dewa Province (now Akita Prefect.), patron and practitioner of Akita ranga (‘Akita Dutch painting’), the school of Western-style painting based in his fief, Shozan advocated empirical study as a means of acquiring practical knowledge. Interested in the study of medicinal plants and in Western technology, he invited the polymath Hiraga Gennai to Akita in 1773 to revive the domain’s copper-mining industry. Shozan and some of his retainers took instruction in Western-style painting from Gennai during his stay. After the latter’s return to Edo, Shozan sent his vassal Odano Naotake there to reside with Gennai and continue the study of Western descriptive realism. In 1778, with the assistance of Naotake, Shozan composed three illustrated treatises: Gahō kōryō (‘Summary of the laws of painting’; priv. col.), Gato rikai (‘Understanding painting’; priv. col.), and Tanseibu (‘Red and blue’), which address theoretical and practical aspects of Western-style painting for the first time in Japan. The treatises, with diagrams and explanatory drawings based on the Dutch manual ...