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Biography of Japanese Painter

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Yanagisawa Kien (1704 - 1758)

Ancestor of the Bunjin-ga style painter, Kanshi poet.


Kien was born at the residence of Kofu Domain in Edo.
His real given name was Satotomo.
The domain lord of Kofu Domain was Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, a senior aide of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Kien's father was high-ranked Samurai and was in favor with his lord.
Therefore, Kien was also given special treatment from the domain.
When Kien was 7 years old, he was admitted to inherit as much as 2000 Koku of rice as annual salary.
From his early days, he received elite education in lterary and military arts from the domain.
He studied literal things from illustrious figures such as great Confucianist Ogyu Sorai.
Kien also started studying the Kano style painting from 8 years old, though, he criticized the Kano style that it lost its substance when he was 12 years old.
Kien became a disciple of Watanabe Shuseki of the Nagasaki style and studied Chinese painting styles.
Later, Kien copied out many old drawings imported from China.
Kien was a person of genius.
His cultures and military arts were at levels in excess of master.
He had relationships with Motoori Norinaga and Ueda Akinari.


After Kien's brother died young, he succeeded the family, though, the domain suspended his succesion in 1728.
Two years later, he was forgiven and received 2500 Koku of rice.


Ike no Taiga and Kimura Kenkado are most famous pupils of Yanagisawa Kien.
Kien deceased in 1758 at the age of 55.

Blossoms - Yanagisawa Kien Kanu - Yanagisawa Kien
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