Oiran (Grand Courtesan) by Takahashi Yuichi

Oiran (Grand Courtesan) by Takahashi Yuichi

Oiran (Grand Courtesan) by Takahashi Yuichi from 1872.

This is an early oil painting from the Meiji period in Japan and is significant because it shows one of the early adaptations of oil paint by a Japanese artist. Represented here this Grand Courtesan is painted in the European portrait manner which diverted from the classic ukiyo-e ‘idealized’ manner, but still wearing classic Japanese attire.

It is interesting to note is that although Takahashi took initiative to develop the first fine art magazine in Japan, and was critical in the development of the modern painting there, he died relatively unknown in Japan.

Oiran (Grand Courtesan) by Takahashi Yuichi

Takahashi Yuichi

Born into a samurai family, Takahashi Yuichi (1828-1894) is a descendent of the Hotta Clan. Historical Japanese customs promote calligraphy and painting as indications of class and learning, so when Takahashi became interested in art at an early age, he was sent to the notorious Kanō school to study.

Among Takahashi’s accomplishments are attending the Paris World Exhibition of 1867 and portrait of the Emperor Meiji. He taught at the newly established Kobubijutsu Gakkō (the Technical Fine Arts School), and is considered one of the first painters to adopt oil paints in Japan.

His work exhibits some of the raw simplicity emphasized by the Zen Buddhism philosophy. I enjoy the confident bold strokes, slightly messy (dare I say) lines, and astoundingly plain yet diverse backgrounds.

Still Life – Takahashi Yuichi

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Six Months After March 11, 2011’s Tsunami in Japan


On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 scale earthquake hit Japan, triggering a Tsunami that devestated most of the shoreline of Japan. However, relentless cleaning efforts have brought at least the surface destruction under some control. The damage, no doubt, runs much deeper and longer in the blood of the citizens of Japan, and throughout the world for that matter.

Currently, the number of dead and missing is at around 22,900 humans. Continue Reading →

Japan’s Nuclear Disaster: An Update

As I write this, on May 18, 2011 news about Japan’s nuclear situation, with regards to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is re-surfacing. After writing about the misconception most people have about nuclear power plants , and the hysteric fear people assume because of calculated slandering by invested interests, I feel obligated to provide an update to the situation at hand.

It appears that there are a few events that really don’t favor mankind at all that are occurring in Japan right now. Continue Reading →