Tamamura Hokuto

Tamamura Hokuto detail

Tamamura Hokuto (1893-1951)

Autumn Grasses
(Aki kusa)

hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, signed Hokuto with one artist's seal Zen Nosuke, accompanied by tomobako with title (Aki kusa) on the outer lid and signed Hokuto dai with artist's seal Hokuto on the inner lid

painting 49 1/2 by 16 3/8 in., 125.6 by 41.5 cm
overall: 85 3/8 by 21 5/8 in; 217 by 55 cm

Tamamura Hokuto was born in Kyoto to a family that sold geta, traditional Japanese wooden shoes. His given name was Zennosuke which he used for his writtings and traditional paintings. He studied painting at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts in Crafts (Kyoto Shiritsu Bijutsu Kogei Gakko), graduating in 1911, and continued his education the Kyoto Municipal Special School of Painting (Kyoto Shiritsu Kaiga Semmon Gakko), studying nihonga (modern Japanese painting) under Kikuchi Hobun (1862-1918). After he graduated in 1915 he and a group of young artists established the Mitsuritsu-kai, an association to promote and exhibit nihonga-style painting. He begins submitting his work to government-sponsored exhibitions, the first is the 2nd Saiko Inten in 1915. The following year he relocates to Tokyo and in 1918, his submission to the 5th Saiko Inten earns a reward and an invitation to become an associate member of the Academy. The 6th Saiko Inten in 1919 was the last in which he exhibited. His submission in 1920 was rejected, after that he moved away from traditional nihonga in order to explore more avant-garde painting and printmaking.

In 2008 the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, held a retrospective exhibition, Tamamura Hokuto: Revolutionary of the Japanese-Style Painting.

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (www.momak.go.jp)


Araki Kanpo signature
Araki Kanpo signature
box lid
Araki Kanpo signature
box lid

Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays, 11am - 5pm, by appointment.

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit.

site last updated
November 18, 2019

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475