Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800) was born as the eldest son of the vegetable wholesaler Masuya at Kyoto’s in Nishiki Koji market. He took over the family business at age 23 when his father passed away. While working, he started painting with his unique sensibility in his 30s. Jakuchu should have struggled whether he should continue working as a wholesaler or focus on painting. His mental conflict was resolved thanks to his supporters and Zen monks including Daiten Zenji (master of Zen Buddhism) who spotted his talent and became a mentor. With their support and encouragement, Jakuchu determined to pass on the business to his younger brother and concentrate on painting.
After his retire at age 42, Jakuchu spent about 10 years to complete his brilliant coloring masterpiece “Doshoku-saie” (animals and plants, 30 hanging scrolls) as well as many ink paintings. He explored new techniques and expressions until he passed away at 85, such as woodblock print which he applied to his work “Jo-kyo-shu” (going down the river in a boat).
However, according to the recent historical record, Jakuchu played an active role in negotiation with local officials in order to resume the Nishiki Koji market which had been ordered to suspend business. Thus he was not the person who was indulged in painting.
This exhibition features his works covering his life time including “Rooster and Turnips” published for the first time as well as the works of the Zen Buddhists and painters who had influence upon Jakuchu’s art. In addition, we exhibit excellent works of the painters who lived in the same era with Jakuchu such as Soga Shohaku, Maruyama Okyo, etc.
※Fukuda Art Museum will be reopen from Saturday, May 23rd.