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25.1 Tomita Keisen (1879-1936) with Unrin’in Hôzan XII (1849-1937)
Yunomi, tea cup - Shiga, deer
Signed: Kei
Seals: Hôzan (at bottom)
Technique: Kyôyaki sometsuke (Seikaji) - Translucent blue and white porcelain with a hand painted cobalt blue underglaze decoration. Ø 7 x 8
Box: signed
Condition: fine

After an artistic search involving a number of painting styles, Keisen found his own independent manner with a mixture of styles and became one of the leaders of the Kyoto Nihonga painters.
Born in Fukuoka in a family of noodle makers, Keisen began his painting studies at the age of twelve. He started with the Kanô style of painting, some years later he moved to the Nanga style with a former student of Hine Taizan (1813-1869). Unhappy with the traditional approaches he went to Kyoto and in 1898 became a pupil of Tsuji Kakô (1870-1931). In September 1904 he returned to Fukuoka where he studied the work the Zen monk Sengai Gibon (1750-1837).
In 1905 he started to study Heian Buddhist painting and travelled to Taiwan and China. In 1911 he met one of the disciples of haiku poet Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) and became interested in haiga painting.
Invited by Yokoyama Taikan (1868-1958) , Keisen was one of the very few Kyoto-based members of the Nihon Bijutsuin, the Japan Art Institute.

Roberts p. 181-182
Araki p. 2234; 20th p. 267-268
Conant p. 326 (# 67-68)
Berry & Marioka pp. 176-177 (# 46-51)
Berry '01 p. 164 (# 93)

Unrin’in Hôzan (Shôhei) XII
The first kiln of Awatayaki was founded at the beginning of the 17th century at the old entrance to Kyoto near San’yô and the Heian shrine. In the 1860s the kiln moved to the Hachiman shrine and around 1920 Hozan XII moved it again to the Sennyû-ji at Higashiyama.
During the Second World War the kilns were destroyed. They were later rebuilt but, unfortunately, too late to save the business, which went bankrupt in 1953. Ito Tôzan III (1901-1970) and Kusube Yaichi (1897-1984) gave the Awata kiln a new start. However, at Yaichi’s death it closed for good.