Hisashi Matsuoka and Japan art (1862-1944)

Hisashi Matsuoka and Japan art (1862-1944)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Hisashi Matsuoka (1862-1944) adored European art. Thus, like other Meiji and Taisho artists, the lore of Europe influenced Matsuoka.

He was born during the late stages of the Edo Period and died during the Showa Period of history. However, Matsuoka was shaped by the Meiji Era (1868-1912). While during the Taisho Period (1912-1926), his academic development continued to flourish.

Matsuoka was born in Okayama but moved to Tokyo when still a child. Immediately, he was intrigued by Western-style art. Therefore, Matsuoka started to create this style of art when only ten years old. 

The Tokyo Institute of Technology says, “In the wake of the resignation of Antonio Fontanesi, an instructor at the school whom Matsuoka had great respect for, he felt discontented with the education he was receiving and withdrew from the School of Arts and Technology in 1879. Along with fellow students who had decided to withdraw from the school at the same time, Matsuoka set up a group called “11 jikai” [Letter 11]–named after the fact that they matriculated in November and withdrew in year 11 of the Meiji period–to further their learning.”

Cesare Maccari, an Italian artist and sculptor, influenced Matsuoka during his time in Italy. Thus, 1880-1881 impacted enormously on Matsuoka. In 1887, he graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma. He also enjoyed the rich cultural and artistic traits of France. 

On returning to Japan, he would soon focus on teaching the next generation of Japanese artists. Hence, academia became a mainstay for Matsuoka. 



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