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Reference » Ukiyo-e »  Artists Biographies

Kako Tsuji 1870-1931

Tsuji Kak˘, a Kyoto born painter and printmaker. His early education links with the famous Maruyama painting school where he received training under K˘no Bairei. From his early career he showed a great talent and inspiration with Zen-related art.

With time, following the death of the great master he took over the teaching position at the school, alongside Takeuchi Seih˘, Kikuchi H˘bun, Taniguchi K˘ky˘ and Yamamoto Shunkyo. Kak˘'s individualism both in his art and social life became his own curse, resulting in lack of appreciation among the contemporary artists. He wasn't invited to become a judge at the Bunten competition until 1924, despite his work being accepted there each year. Still, he remained faithful to his principles, and encouraged similar attitude among his students, inspiring them to develop their individual visions. He had a few very talented pupils, but never formed a fixed school.

In late Meiji Kak˘ had a period of intensive study of water and waves, as well as experimenting with colour. He is well known for large format works, he also produced smaller scale intimate works individually commissioned by dealers and collectors. In fact in 1921 he organised an exhibition of non-commissioned pieces (Kong˘zan tansh˘ gakai) at the Mitsukoshi Department store in Osaka. This event was in a way a rebellious way to communicate his disappointment with the art establishment. From that event on he no longer participated in official government exhibitions and refused accepting commissions.

Kak˘ died of stomach cancer in 1931.