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Shoen Uemura is a dedicated and hardworking female painter who painted paintings of beautiful women.

上村松園は美人画を描いた女性画家ひたむきな努力家英語記事
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ゆず子
ゆず子

Who is the famous female painting “Uemura Shoen”?

TOM
TOM
I don’t know either, so let’s find out what kind of person Shoen Uemura is, a female painter!

I will answer these questions.

 

Shoen Uemura is a dedicated and hardworking female painter who painted paintings of beautiful women.

 

Shoen Uemura, who painted beauties in a straight line

 

In this article, I would like to introduce Uemura Shoen, who created a unique style of bijin-ga that is unparalleled in his paintings of beautiful women in the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras.

 

Find out in this article

1. Life of Shoen Uemura
2. Shoen Uemura’s single-minded efforts
3. Shoen Uemura independent as a painter

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Biography of Shoen Uemura

Shoen Uemura is a pseudonym, and his real name is Tsune. She was born on April 23, 1875 (Meiji 8) as the second daughter of Chikiriya, a tea house in Shijo Miyuki-cho, Kyoto (now Chuo-ku, Kyoto).

Her father, Taihei Uemura, was her adopted son and died two months before Shoen was born. Therefore, when her father, Taihei, died, her wife Nakatsuko was 26 years old. Above Pine Garden was her sister Koma.

Shozono, who was called “Chikiriya no Tsuu-san,” entered Bukkoji Kaichi Elementary School in 1881.

Shozono, who has been painting ever since she was a little sluggish, begged her mother to buy Edo paintings and oshie at a picture book store in the town, and portraits of actors and samurai paintings lined up at night stalls. It is said that he looked around enthusiastically.

Her father was gone, and her mother worked hard, and I think she had Shoen’s personality, but she shut herself up and only painted her pictures at her storefront.

She was recognized for her artistic talent by her drawing teacher, and she was awarded a prize for her painting of a tobacco tray at the Kyoto Elementary School Union Exhibition.

In the 16th year of Meiji, Matsuzono is 16 years old. At the 3rd National Industrial Exposition, she exhibited “Four Seasons Beauty”, which was bought by a British aristocrat.

In 1888, she entered the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting (now Kyoto City University of Arts). It’s a time when her family is tied up by relatives and relatives. As a matter of course, her decision to go to Shoen was met with fierce opposition from those around her. However, her mother, Nakako, persuaded them.

Her mother Nakako said to her Shoen:

 

“You don’t have to worry about the house. Just do your best to paint.”

 

Nakako, the mother of Shoen Uemura

“If Shoen hadn’t had a mother named Nakako, this female painter who represents modern Japanese painting would probably never have entered the world, let alone remain in history.”

The mother, Nakako, must have been too masculine… She chose the future of her two daughters over her own happiness as a woman. I decided to raise my two daughters while managing the store on my own.

Normally, Nakako’s mother should have remarried, because “Hachaya Chikiriya” was a kimono shop in Kyoto, and Teihachi Uemura, who had been in charge for many years, was replaced by Tahei, who worked at the “Hachaya”. It was a person who saw the person, let him go with his niece and adopted daughter Nakako, and opened a store.

However, Nakako decided that it would not be good for her two daughters to have a father who was not related to them again.

In the days when there was no TV or internet, Nakako would borrow reading books from a lending bookstore and read novels after her daytime work. She says that she enjoyed illustrations such as “Nanso Satomi Hakkenden”, “Suikoden” and “Chinsetsu Yumiharitsuki”.

In the mid-Meiji era, when women’s happiness was defined as marriage and family life, I listened to the wishes of my daughter, Shoen, who said she liked painting, even though I could learn tea ceremony and flower arrangement. There are very few parents who can specialize in studying.

It was a time when many Japanese still did not understand what art was, and paintings and sculptures were considered to be the monopoly of the upper classes.

女流の不遇な時代背景

マラソンをする女性

The Edo period… the Meiji period… In the world of painting, female artists were always in trouble.

One is the physical problem of creative activities.

Women were considered inferior to men in the ability to draw a work regardless of day or night. Also, although the lines drawn are gentle, it lacks strength, and when displayed in the alcove, it pales in comparison to the man’s.

Second, social conditions.

The prejudice of male predominance also hindered the advance of women, and the reality was that there were only a few opportunities to make presentations.

Under these circumstances, how many mothers would allow her daughter Shoen to study painting? However, this mother, Nakako, is a very ordinary merchant and has only the education of the common people.

 

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Shoen Uemura Single-minded effort

芸術の秋・絵を描く女性(笑顔)

Shoen was not the type of so-called “genius” whose creations leaped one after another.

Take your time and enjoy thinking about your favorite painting materials, refine them until you are satisfied, and work hard to make full use of the techniques you have learned to draw over and over again.

And when I got stuck in creating, I tried hard to learn things that I didn’t have in myself.

He moved to the cram school of Bairei Kono, the master of the Shijo Maruyama school, and also learned Chinese classics from Mizuka Ichimura and Uzan Nagao, which was considered “common sense” for painters at the time.

It is said that he visited theaters and museums and enthusiastically sketched every day. He also studied in the world of Noh.

Shoen devoted himself to training as a painter, but his mother, Nakako, was undoubtedly the one who supported him.

 

 

 

“My mother who gave birth to me also gave birth to my art.

 

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Shoen Uemura becomes independent as a painter.

美人画として独立

His mother, Nakako, closed “Chikiriya” and Matsuzono and Nakako moved to Oike Kurumaya-Jiyacho (now Higashiyamachi, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto) and became independent painters.

Shoen’s creative activities became more and more active. After the Russo-Japanese War, Japan’s national power increased, the number of private companies increased, the standard of living of the Japanese people as a whole improved, and the style began to westernize little by little, following the example of Western countries.

Especially after the Bunten was held in 1907, Shoen’s activities as an artist have been enriched, centering on the official exhibition, which forms the mainstream of the Japanese art world. He often won awards and was on the jury himself.

In addition to the Bunten exhibition, his works were exhibited at the Shinko Art Exhibition, the Japan Art Association, and the Tatsumigakai, and he also actively advanced to overseas exhibitions. Hanami, which was exhibited at the Japan-British Exposition in 1910, won a gold prize, and exhibited at the Italian World Exposition the following year, as well as Ningyo Tsukai and Kamizono Sho Autumn, which were well received.

In 1924, she became the first female judge at the Teiten Exhibition.

She Shoen just kept taking her paintbrush…

On February 22, 1934, her mother Nakako passed away at the age of 86. Before she knew it, Shoen was 60 years old. Her mother’s death gave her a big turning point.

Her art takes a leap forward. Her masterpieces such as “Mother and Child,” “Jo no Mai,” “Soshiarai Komachi,” “Yugure,” and “Late Autumn,” and works that would later be considered Shoen’s representative works, were produced one after another.

Shoen, who created her own high-quality paintings of beautiful women, escaped from the realm of her paintings of beautiful women, and established an unparalleled “Shoen art” in the world of modern Japanese painting.

In November 1948, after her Pacific War, she was the first woman to be awarded the Order of Culture (6th).

Shoen passed away at the age of 75 on August 27, 1949.

 

“I feel like I’ve been playing with my sister for the rest of my life.”

 

 

I would be happy if you could refer to it even a little.
Thank you for reading to the end.

 

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