Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878 - 1972)
Bijin-ga (Japanese beautiful woman picture) painter in the Meiji, Taisho
and Showa eras.
Kiyokata is ranked with Uemura Shoen and Ito Shinsui as one of the big
three Bijin-ga painters.
Including beautiful women, Kiyokata drew many genre paintings whose motifs
were people in downtown districts in Tokyo.
Western sources misunderstand that his surname was "Kaburagi",
though, "Kaburaki" is correct.
Kiyokata was born in Kanda of Tokyo as a son of Jono Saigiku, popular writer
Kiyokata's real given name was Kenichi.
When Kiyokata was 14 years old, he became a disciple of Mizuno Toshikata
who was specialized in Ukiyo-e painting.
Around 17 years old, Kiyokata started drawing illustrations for the Yamato
Newspaper of which his father was managing.
In 1898, when Kiyokata was 21 years old, he sent a big piece to the 5th
Nihon Kaiga Kyokai Exhibition.
He began career as a Bijin-ga and genre painter from this moment.
In 1901, he participated in establishing the Ugo-Kai painting circle.
Kiyokata sent not a few pieces to the exhibitions held by the Ugo-Kai.
He was accepted for the 2nd Teiten Exhibition held in 1927.
From this period, Kiyokata was evaluated as a great master, however, he
continued to paint illustrations.
In 1945, because of the air attacks by the US Air Force, Kiyokata was bombed
out from his house in Tokyo, therefore, he moved to Kamakura after the
end of World War 2.
Even though the good old-fashined cityscape and scenery of Tokyo were all
destroyed by the war, he kept drawing genre paintings and good old Bijin
In 1954, he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit.
Kiyokata died on March 2 of 1972 at the age of 93.