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Tanomura Chokunyû (1814-1907)
A lipstick kiss sunrise over Mount Fuji on New Years morning
Signed: ChôkunyIu dôjin shigô jinen hachijûsan (83)
Seals: Hotei anshu
Technique: sumi, red and a little blue on paper 64,7 x 32,1
Date: New Year’s Day 1896
Mounting: grey blue damask
wooden rollers, 150 x 45,4
Box: Authenticated by Tanaka Hakuin (1866-1934) in Taishô 11(1923)
Condition: very good

The poem reads: Senri shin / setsumo kagajaku / nitsu honno / homo takakimareha / fuji no setuzan
Expanded over many miles
lies the glittering snow
The pride of Japan is Mount Fuji
that high snow mountain

Chokunyû was born in Ôita Takeda in Bungo province. His master Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835) came from the same area. Chokunyû became his pupil when he was in his 9th year. Chikuden recognized his talents and adopted him, upon which Chokunyû gave up his own family name of Mitsumiya. Apart from his painting activities he also immersed himself in Chinese studies. He was, moreover, a pivotal figure in sencha-loving circles in Kyoto and Osaka. As the number of devotees augmented, he founded a sencha society in Osaka in order to preserve and consolidate the work of earlier sencha enthusiasts like Rai San’yô (1781-1832). It became known as the Seiwan Chakai, Blue Bay Tea Society. As its originator and promoter Chokunyû achieved tremendous fame. Early in the Meiji era he became involved in the founding of Kyoto’s Prefectural Art School and in due course became its first director. He also helped to establish the Japanese Nanga Society. He was a prolific artist not only drawn to landscape and flowers, trees and grasses, but also to birds, animals and human figures. With Tomioka Tessai (1836-1924) he was a leading figure in the sencha world of the Meiji era.

Roberts p. 174
Araki pp. 1080-1081
Graham p. 171 ff.
Berry & Morioka ‘99 p. 92-95 (# 12)
Berry & Morioka ‘08 p. 303-05 (# 42-43, 79)