Biography of Japanese Painter

Hishida Shunso (1874 - 1911)

Hishida Shunso

Shunso was born in Iida of Nagano Prefecture.
His given name was Mioji.

In 1890, Shunso entered the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko) and received lessons from Hashimoto Gaho.
Shunso was one year Yokoyama Taikan and Shimomura Kanzan's junior.
They were influenced a great deal by Okakura Tenshin, the head teacher of the school at that time.
However, as Tenshin was radical reformer of Japanese painting, there are not a few opponents in the school.
In 1898, Tenshin resigned the position cause of action of the opponents.
Taikan, Kanzan and Shunso were working for the school as teachers around that time, they also left their jobs and got into line with Tenshin.
Shunso took part in the establishment of the Japan Art Institute (Nihon Bijutsu-In) with Tenshin, Taikan and Kanzan.

In 1903, Shunso went to India with Taikan.
In 1904, Shunso took off a two-year journey to America and European countries with Tenshin and Taikan.
In 1906, they moved to Izura of Ibaraki Prefecture accompanied with the replacement of the Nihon Bijutsu-In to that place.
Though, Shunso got eye trouble so that he moved to Tokyo for treatment in 1908.
Driven by fear of blindness, he painted frantically.
Finally, he became blind and died on September 16 of 1911.

The conventional Japanese painting style was to draw outlines of objects.
From around 1900, Taikan and Shunso started making paintings without such line drawings.
The new painting method without line drawings is called "Mourou-tai".
Though, their Mourou-tai painting method was beyond all apprehension and was severely criticized by art critics at first.
Shunso sent his work "Kenshu Bosatsu" depicted with the Mourou-tai method to the first Bunten Exhibition in 1907, however, the adjudicators could not understand its value at all.
Later, the Mourou-tai method was recognized.
Yokoyama Taikan said that Shunso was much superior painter to him.

  • Kuro ki Neko, Black Cat 1910
  • Rakuyo, Fall of Leaves 1909
  • Aki no Yo-Bijin, Bijin Beauty on an Autumn Night
  • O-Shokun zu 1902
  • Kafu to Koji,  Widow and Orphaned minor 1895
Back to Page Top