Japan art and Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927) was born one year after the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) and died one year after the ending of the Taisho Period (1912-1926). Thus he witnessed many momentous events throughout his life.
The Meiji leaders supported many Japanese artists in learning various forms of Western art. However, Kōgyo heavily focused on traditional theater concerning Noh.
This article highlights the other angle of the artwork of Kōgyo. In the above image, an elegant lady is in her bathing costume. It takes you back to the impact of Victorian-style morals (a huge minefield – good and bad) that was felt throughout the developing world of this period of history. However, this setting is purely Japanese – but the international norms of the day highlight dignity.
Kōgyo studied art under Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) and Ogata Gekko (1859-1920). Yoshitoshi adored Noh. Hence, he influenced Kōgyo greatly. Gekko further developed his art by focusing on a fusion of traditional Japanese styles and Western art.
Kōgyo’s legacy concerns his delightful depictions of Noh. However, he also produced other stunning art depicted in this article.
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