Kimura Chikko (木村竹香)

Chikko KIMURA (male 1868-January 28, 1943) was a Tenkoku artist (artist of seal engraving) in modern times of Japan. He is known as a person who edited and published "Rakan Inpu" that is famous in Japanese tenkoku world.

His real first name is Masahira, Chikko is Go (second name or alias) and his Saigo (Go named after his reading room)is Suikodo. He was born at Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. He is a biological father of Shohei YAMADA.

Brief Biography
He was born at Shirone City. At first, he visited a famous craftsman Banri OE but he was refused, and he went to Tokyo to become an apparentice of Keisho NAKAI. He served his apprenticeship for a year and was permitted by NAKAI to use a word "香" to call himself "竹香" as his Go. He returned to Niigata and opened his business in front of OE's house on the Furumachi-dori Street. He run a printblock shop. OE was amazed at his skill of Tenkoku. The name of his wife is Masu. He was also fond of creating Chinese poetry and keen on collecting antiques. One day, his belongings were confiscated for the reason that he was a guarantor, and all his collections were taken away. Favored by Yaichi AIZU, he built a close relationship with him.

He also formed a deep relationship with his countryman Kanzan YAMADA and he asked YAMADA to engrave a seal of Juroku Rakan. This Juroku Rakan was made of clay and was put into a rosewood box, Chikko engraved the character "金石結縁 瓦礫放光" written by Zoroku HAMAMURA (fifth) on the opening of the box. The kaigan (eye-opening) inauguration ceremony was to be held by Kanin of Eihei-ji Temple Tenkai HOSHIMI who was on the tour to preach through the country, which attracted huge popularity.

His second son Shohei YAMADA became Kanzan's son-in-law and moved to Tokyo. His eldest son Gunpei and his third son Kohei had moved to Hakodate to engage in fishing in northern Japan. His sons worried about his single life and asked him to live together, and then he moved to Hakodate. However, he was gripped by nostalgia for his hometown where he had lived long, and returned to Niigata to become vice priest of Eco-in Temple (Nishi Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture). In 1936, he organized Jyuen (cerebration party of longevity) in his Koki (the cerebration of a person's 70th birthday) in substitution for his funeral in the future. After that, he moved to Hokkaido again and died in 1943. He died at the age of 77.