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Article

Japanese, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1872, in Okayama Prefecture; died 1979.

Sculptor. Religious subjects, mythological figures, local figures, portraits.

Hirakushi studied sculpture under Takamura Koun and was soon selected to take part in the Bunten (ministry of education) exhibition and exhibitions at the art institute. In ...

Article

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1718, in Yamanashi Prefecture; died 1810.

Sculptor.

Mokujiki, like the sculptor Enku who died in 1695, was an unorthodox monk and sculptor, an artist and man of religion who was close to the people. At the age of 45 he received the ...

Article

Donald F. McCallum

[Mokujiki Gogyō; Mokujiki Gyōdō; Mokujiki Meiman]

(b Marubatake, Kai Province [now Yamashi Prefecture], 1718; d 1810).

Japanese sculptor and Buddhist monk. He was an ascetic priest of the Shingon sect (see Buddhism §III 10.) during the Edo period (1600–1868) and apparently functioned as an itinerant monk (hijiri) in early adulthood. At the age of 45 he took vows as a ‘wood-eater’ (mokujiki), one who abstained not only from meat, fish and fowl but also from grains, eating only nuts, roots and berries. In 1773, after taking an additional vow to travel throughout Japan, he embarked on a programme of missionary activity that took him from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south. Mokujiki was already in his early 60s when he began sculpting devotional images for the communities he visited, apparently following the example of his predecessor Enkū. Interestingly, he avoided localities where Enkū had made images. Mokujiki enjoyed excellent health and continued to produce sculptures until he was over 90 years old....

Article

Japanese, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 19 March 1852, in Edo (Tokyo); died 10 October 1934, in Tokyo.

Sculptor. Buddhist subjects. Wood carving, bronze and metalwork.

Takamura Koun exhibited in Paris including at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, where he received a bronze medal. He sought to preserve the art of traditional Japanese wood carving....