Shiseki was born in Edo (present Tokyo) in 1715.
His real name was Kusumoto Kohachiro.
So Shiseki is his pseudonym.
Activities in his youth are unknown.
When Kohachiro was in mid-fourties, he went to Nagasaki and studied painting
of the Nanpin school under Kumashiro Yuhi.
Then, Kohachiro also studied the same painting style under the Chinese
painter Song Ziyan, who was known as So Shigan in Japanese pronunciation.
From about this time, Kohachiro called himself "So Shiseki" .
The pseudonym was derived from an imitation of his master's name.
Around 1759, he went back to Edo and worked to promote the Nanpin painting
At Edo, Shiseki had relationships with literary men and daimyo lords such
as Sakai Hoitsu, Matsudaira Norisada, Sugita Genpaku and Hiraga Gennai.
Shiseki's son (So Shizan) succeeded to his school.
Shiba Kokan is also famous painter as a pupil of Shiseki.