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date: 19 October 2019

Okakura, Tenshin [Kakuzō]locked

(b Yokohama, Dec 26, 1863; d Niigata Prefect., Sept 2, 1913).
  • Yoshikazu Iwasaki

Extract

[Kakuzō]

(b Yokohama, Dec 26, 1863; d Niigata Prefect., Sept 2, 1913).

Japanese administrator, art historian and teacher. In 1880 he graduated from Tokyo Imperial University and entered the Ministry of Education. He later moved from administration to art education, and in 1886–7 he visited Europe and America as a member of an official art research team. In 1890, after his return, he became the head of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he worked to make way for a new Japanese style of painting (Nihonga), which introduced the realistic techniques of Western painting to traditional methods (see Japan §VI 5., (iii)). Okakura was a formative influence on many artists at the centre of the modern Nihonga movement, such as Taikan Yokoyama and Shunsō Hishida. In 1898 he resigned as head of the school because of internal disagreements and formed the unofficial artistic group the Japan Art Institute (Nihon Bijutsuin). In 1904 he became adviser to the East Asian department at the Boston, MA, Museum of Fine Arts, later becoming head of the department....

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