Biography of Japanese Painter

Iwasa Matabei (1578 - 1650)

Self-portrait of Iwasa Matabei

Pioneer in the field of the Ukiyo-e style genre painting.

Matabei was born as the son of Araki Murashige, a daimyo served under Oda Nobunaga.
In 1579, Murashige raised a rebellion against his lord, Nobunaga, but, it ended in failure.
All members of his family were killed except Murashige himself.
Matabei was also survived as his fostmer mother rescued him from the tragedy.
After he grew up, he started activity as a painter in Kyoto.
He absorbed the Suiboku painting and the painting methods of the the Kano, Kaiho, Tosa schools, then, he established his own painting style.

When Matabei was around 40 years old, he went to Fukui city because he was invited from Matsudaira Tadanao, the daimyo of Fukui Domain.
He drew many pieces of works at the place.

In 1637, Matabei went to Edo as the 2nd Tycoon Tokugawa Hidetada ordered him to make furnishings for marriage of Hidetada's daughter.
He lived in Edo until his death.

  • From Yamanaka Tokiwa Monogatari Emaki Tale
  • Jyoruri Monogatari Emaki Tale
  • Kakinomoto no Hitomaro
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