Tomioka Tessai

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Literati painter from Kyoto. Highly proficient in classical Japanese literature, Chinese studies and poetry, he is often regarded as the last major proponent of the bunjinga (literati painting) genre. He began his career under the influence of the waka poet Ōtagaki Rengetsu. Tessai supported the Meiji Restoration, being close to the activists involved in the overthrow of the old system. He was appointed the head priest of Isonokami Shrine in Yamato (now Nara Prefecture) and Ōtori Shrine near Osaka. After his resignation, Tessai became a recluse, though maintaining his connections to the art world. Co-founder of the Nihon Nanga Kyōkai (Japan Literati Painting Assocation) with Tanomura Chokunyū and Taniguchi Aizan. He was appointed an Imperial Court Artist and member of the Imperail Fine Art Academy.


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