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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

The life of Ito Jakuchu

(Japanese translation below)

Ito Jakuchu was a famous Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period. He resided mainly in Kyoto. His life is shrouded in mystery. He was born in Kyoto in 1716, the son of a wholesaler and he worked there until he was forty years old and only painted as a hobby at that time. His paintings have become very famous three hundred years after his death at the age of eighty.

Art galleries have recently exhibited his paintings and they are gaining popularity around the world. His works include ink paintings, portraits, woodblock prints and so on. His hobby was painting animals and plants true to life.

For example, he often painted chickens, parrots and tigers. His paintings show a dynamic and uplifting feeling. Other artists become a pupil of famous artisans, but Ito was self-taught. He painted many chickens, fishes and so on every day in order to become a better painter.

Many of his works were displayed at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in the summer of this year. There were big scroll paintings of an elephant and of many chickens. He had never seen a real elephant, so it was a little deformed but also very cute. All his works are very good.

I recommend his paintings to everyone. If you have a chance, you should watch TV and read magazines about his life. If you are interested in his paintings and other famous artists, you should visit many museums to expand your knowledge.


村上 明香






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