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Tsuji Kakō (1871-1931)


Biographical Data

Biography

Tsuji Kakō 都路華香 (1871-1931)

N. Tsuji Yoshikage. F.N. Tsuji Unosuke. Gō (Artist Name): Kakō. 都路華香

Source: National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto http://www.momak.go.jp/English/exhibitionArchive/2006/350.html and as footnoted.

Tsuji Kakō (1871-1931)1 was born in Kyoto into a family of textile designers and dyers2 and began his studies under Kono Bairei (1844-1895) in 1880.  The times were changing turbulently and young painters in Kyoto, as in Tokyo, were creating ambitious paintings, seeking to match the new age.  Bairei’s students were the most active in this endeavor, and among them, Kakō, Takeuchi Seihō (1864-1942), Kikuchi Hōbun (1862-1918), and Taniguchi Kokyō (1864-1915) were considered the top four.  Kakō was repeatedly awarded at the Domestic Industrial Exhibition and Kyōshinkai Exhibitions, as well as the Bunten (Ministry of Education Exhibition) which was inaugurated in 1907, and supported the flourishing days of the modern painting circle in Kyoto.  Meanwhile, Kakō taught not only at his own juku (a private teaching atelier), but also at the Kyoto Municipal Special School of Painting and Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, nurturing many young, talented painters who will constitute the next generation.
In 1928 Kakō was operated on for stomach cancer, and he died in 1931.3

1 The Index of Japanese Painters, compiled by the Society of Friends of Eastern Art, Charles Tuttle, 1958, gives the artist's birth and death dates as 1877-1927 and Dream Worlds Modern Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection gives his birth date as 1870.
2 Dream Worlds Modern Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, James T. Ulak, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 2006, p. 102.
3Saru Gallery website http://www.sarugallery.com/japanese_paintings/artists/kako_tsuji.html

Woodblock Prints

While woodblock prints are not mentioned in the above bio, he designed landscape and bird and flower (kacho) prints for the publisher Kokkeido in the early 1900s as well as several Russo-Japanese War prints for the publisher Matsuki Heikichi, as well as surimono (privately issued prints.)

2006 Exhibition - Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

Source: Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto website http://www.momak.go.jp/English/exhibitionArchive/2006/350.html#2
This is the first large-scale retrospective since the posthumous exhibition, featuring approximately ninety paintings from his early period to his final years. It introduces the art of Tsuji Kakō, which is full of a sense of freedom and unworldliness, adding the meditative quality of Zen discipline to the Shijō school style. We hope the exhibition will enrich the viewer’s understanding of the modern painting circle in Kyoto.