Tamako Kataoka

Last updated
Tamako Kataoka
Kataoka Tamako bijutsu-techo 1962204.jpg
Kataoka Tamako in 1962
Born(1905-01-05)5 January 1905
Died16 January 2008(2008-01-16) (aged 103)
Style Nihonga

Tamako Kataoka (片岡球子, Kataoka Tamako) (5 January 1905 in Sapporo – 16 January 2008) was a Japanese Nihonga painter. [1]


She is known for her series of Mount Fuji and other mountains, painted in bold colours such as red.


Tamako Kataoka was born in Sapporo, Japan in 1905. In 1923, she enrolled to study the traditional Japanese painting style Nihonga at the Women’s Special School of Art in Tokyo. She decided to further her studies and acquired a teaching post at Ooka state primary school in Yokohama for the next thirty years, and at the Women’s University of Fine Art for another fifteen. In 1962, Kataoka traveled to Europe, visiting France, Italy, and the UK. It was during this forty-day excursion that the western influence in her work stemmed.

Art critic Sarah Custen describes Kataoka's unique response to the influence of popular American artists: "Kataoka’s landscapes evoke Georgia O'Keeffe, and her ‘Countenance’ series is undeniably reminiscent of Warhol’s pop art, yet her work is far from imitative. While much of Japanese art is dedicated to faithful replication, Kataoka’s paintings sing as true, individual expression." [2] For example, Kataoka often uses gold leaf and silver to highlight portions of her prints, a technique seen in many Nihonga paintings before her. “By painting a picture of a traditional scene…one can participate in a process of defining what a tradition is.” [3]

By the mid sixties, she became the department head of the Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts. It was here that she taught students who were eager to modernize the style of traditional Japanese art. After seeing her work, a fellow artist by the name of Kobayashi Kokei recognized the greatness in it. He exclaimed that her work straddled “the line between being inferior and an authentic masterpiece” and encouraged her to continue. [4] She designed one of the curtains at the Nagoya Kabuki Misono-za theatre called "Flowers at Mount Fuji" (富士に献花). [5] [6]

Kataoka was later appointed a member of the Japan Art Academy in 1982, and awarded the Order of Culture in 1989. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

Hokusai Japanese artist

Katsushika Hokusai, known simply as Hokusai, was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. Hokusai is best known for the woodblock print series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally iconic print The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

Yukihiko Yasuda

Yukihiko Yasuda was the pseudonym of a major figure in Taishō and early Shōwa period Japanese painting, and is regarded as one of the founders of the Japanese painting technique of nihonga. His real name was Yasuda Shinzaburō.

Yokoyama Taikan Japanese painter (1868-1958)

Yokoyama Taikan was the pseudonym of a major figure in pre-World War II Japanese painting. He is notable for helping create the Japanese painting technique of Nihonga. His real name was Sakai Hidemaro.

Japanese painting

Japanese painting is one of the oldest and most highly refined of the Japanese visual arts, encompassing a wide variety of genres and styles. As with the history of Japanese arts in general, the long history of Japanese painting exhibits synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and the adaptation of imported ideas, mainly from Chinese painting, which was especially influential at a number of points; significant Western influence only comes from the later 16th century onwards, beginning at the same time as Japanese art was influencing that of the West.

Nihonga are Japanese paintings from about 1900 onwards that have been made in accordance with traditional Japanese artistic conventions, techniques and materials. While based on traditions over a thousand years old, the term was coined in the Meiji period of Imperial Japan, to distinguish such works from Western-style paintings or Yōga (洋画).

Makoto Fujimura is an American artist. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bucknell University, then studied in a traditional Japanese painting doctorate program for several years at Tokyo University of the Arts with several notable artists such as Takashi Murakami and Hiroshi Senju. His bicultural arts education led his style towards a fusion between fine art and abstract expressionism, together with the traditional Japanese art of Nihonga and Kacho-ga.

Uemura Shōen

Uemura Shōen was the pseudonym of an important artist in Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa period Japanese painting. Her real name was Uemura Tsune. Shōen was known primarily for her bijin-ga paintings of beautiful women in the nihonga style, although she produced numerous works on historical themes and traditional subjects. Shōen is considered a major innovator in the bijin-ga genre despite the fact she often still used it to depict the traditional beauty standards of women. Bijin-ga gained criticism during the Taisho era while Shōen worked due to its lack of evolution to reflect the more modern statuses of women in Japan. During bijin-ga's conception in the Tokugawa, or Edo, period, women were regarded as lower class citizens and the genre often reflected this implication onto its female subjects. Within the Taisho era, women had made several advancements into the Japanese workforce, and artistry specifically was becoming more popular outside of pass times for the elite, which opened way for Shōen's success. Shōen received many awards and forms of recognition during her lifetime within Japan, being the first female recipient of the Order of Culture award, as well as being hired as the Imperial Household's official artist, which had previously only employed one other official woman in the position. In 1949 she died of cancer just a year after receiving the Order of Culture Award.

Takeuchi Seihō Japanese painter

Takeuchi Seihō was a Japanese painter of the nihonga genre, active from the Meiji through the early Shōwa period. One of the founders of nihonga, his works spanned half a century and he was regarded as master of the prewar Kyoto circle of painters. His real name was Takeuchi Tsunekichi.

Hishida Shunsō

Hishida Shunsō was the pseudonym of a Japanese painter from the Meiji period. One of Okakura Tenshin's pupils along with Yokoyama Taikan and Shimomura Kanzan, he played a role in the Meiji era innovation of Nihonga. His real name was Hishida Miyoji. He was also known for his numerous paintings of cats.

Gyoshū Hayami Japanese artist

Gyoshū Hayami was the pseudonym of a Japanese painter in the Nihonga style, active during the Taishō and Shōwa eras. His real name was Eiichi Maita.

Yuki Ogura Japanese artist (1895–2000)

Yuki Ogura was a Japanese nihonga painter. Her maiden name was Yuki Mizoguchi. She was known for her bijinga.

<i>Yōga</i> European style of painting by Japanese artists

Yōga is a style of artistic painting in Japan, typically of Japanese subjects, themes, or landscapes, but using Western (European) artistic conventions, techniques, and materials. The term was coined in the Meiji period (1868–1912) to distinguish Western-influenced artwork from indigenous, or more traditional Japanese paintings, or Nihonga (日本画).

Tsuchida Bakusen

Tsuchida Bakusen was the pseudonym of a Japanese painter in the Nihonga style, active during the Taishō and early Shōwa eras. His birth name was Tsuchida Kinji (土田金二).

Ogata Gekkō was a Japanese artist best known as a painter and a designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. He was self-taught in art, and won numerous national and international prizes and was one of the earliest Japanese artists to win an international audience.

Fuyuko Matsui is a female contemporary Japanese artist, specialized in Nihonga paintings. She is known for her "new Kusozu" series. Matsui has been making her works based on her psychoanalysis results, putting heavy weight on her feelings and interests in violence, experience of loss, repression, stress, and trauma.

Lou Zhenggang is a prominent contemporary Chinese artist. Trained in calligraphy from an early age, she attained national fame as a child prodigy, was sent to a government-sponsored fine arts academy and trained by China's masters of calligraphy and ink painting. She won numerous competitions and exhibited both at home and abroad. At the age of 20, Lou moved to Japan, where she soon had several highly acclaimed exhibitions, wrote illustrated columns for prominent local magazines and was featured regularly on a national television program for three years. Though Lou's work is best known in China and Japan, it has been shown in Paris and New York and is held in numerous collections, both public and private. She continues to live and work in Tokyo.

Narashige Koide

Narashige Koide was a Japanese painter and illustrator, noted for his work in pioneering the Hanshinkan Modernism trend in yōga (Western-style) portraiture and nude painting in early 20th century Japanese painting.

Syoh Yoshida is a Japanese artist of the nihonga and ink painting genre.

Hirafuku Hyakusui

Hirafuku Hyakusui, originally named Teizō was a Japanese painter in the nihonga style.

Fumiko Hori was a Japanese artist, known for her paintings in the Nihonga style.


  1. http://asia.nikkei.com/Life-Arts/Arts/The-Japanese-artist-who-heard-snow-and-thought-red
  2. Custen, Sarah (April 2015). "Happy Anniversary". Tokyo Weekender.
  3. Weston, Japanese Painting and National Identity, 17.
  4. Conant, Ellen P.; Owyoung, Steven D.; Rimer, J. Thomas (1995). Nihonga: Transcending the Past: Japanese-Style Painting, 1868-1968. St. Louis, Missouri: St. Louis Art Museum. pp. 302–303.
  5. http://www.misonoza.co.jp/wp/?p=520
  6. http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASGCT6W6PGCTOIPE02S.html
  7. "Kataoka, Tamako". Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Retrieved February 6, 2017.

Further reading