Japan art and Hashimoto Kansetsu: Impact of Chinese culture

Japan art and Hashimoto Kansetsu: Impact of Chinese culture

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883-1945) adored countless aspects of Chinese culture. This was despite the untold misery that Japan would inflict on China during his lifetime. Therefore, one can only imagine the feelings that Japanese militarism installed in Kansetsu.

He was born in Hyogo – and Kansetsu was extremely active in the artistic circles of Kyoto. Thus, he belongs to the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods of Japanese history. However, despite this – and the impact of modernization and Japanese nationalism in the late period of his life – he belongs to a world of high culture that entails the finest qualities emanating from China and Japan. 

He studied art under Kataoka Koko and Takeuchi Seiho. Hence, Kansetsu was blessed to have such great teachers during his informative years. Kansetsu’s art is a delightful fusion of ideas emanating from Chinese-style painting, the cultural art world of Rinpa, and the Shijo School. Therefore, he had a very creative style!

The Hashimoto Kansetsu Museum says, “Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883-1945) was a Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) artist who was active in the art world of Kyoto during the modern era from the Taisho to Showa periods. He possesses profound knowledge of ancient Japanese and Chinese classical documents and history, and was also knowledgeable in ancient and modern calligraphy art based on poetry.”

He visited China often despite the horrendous convulsions impacting this nation – firstly concerning Western imperialism and then followed by Japanese imperialism. However, his world belongs to the world of art and the respective cultural qualities of China and Japan – while also being influenced by Western art. 

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