Tanomura Chikuden (田能村竹田)

Chikuden TANOMURA (July 14, 1777 - October 20, 1835) was a painter of nanga (a school of painting originating in China) (literati painting), who lived during the late Edo period. His first name was Takanori (孝憲). His azana (Chinese courtesy name, which was, historically the name formerly given to adult Chinese men, used in place of their given name in formal situations, scholars and the literati of Japan adopted this custom of courtesy name) was Kuni. His common name was Takezo. His different pseudonyms were Roeshi (master painter), Kujo (nine Japanese tatami mat), Senshi, and others.

He was born in a family of a doctor of the Oka Domain, Bungo Province, and after having learned at hanko (a domain school), Yugakukan, he served the same school, starting as juin (Confucianist staff) and reaching to todori (the school chief). He also traveled to Kumamoto and Kyoto to study Confucianism. During this period, while he was engaged in the compilation of "Bungo Kokushi" (Bungo provincial history), he learned painting under a local painter, and even sought a distance instruction of Buncho TANI in Edo (present Tokyo), which can be compared to today's correspondence education. In 1811, when a peasants uprising opposing to the monopolization broke out in the domain, he submitted the proposition to the domain government twice calling for a reform, however, they were not accepted and he tendered his resignation. Since then, he traveled back and forth between Bungo Province and Keihan (Kyoto and Osaka) area, having cultural exchanges with literary figures such as Beisanjin OKADA, Hanko OKADA, Shunkin URAGAMI, Sanyo RAI, Chazan KAN and Mokubei AOKI, and died at hantei (the official residence maintained by a feudal lord) of the Oka clan in Osaka.

Representative works
Mata Mata Ichirakucho (Little Pleasures) (Neiraku Art Museum), Important Cultural Property
Old temple in pine grove (Tokyo National Museum), Important Cultural Property
Senso shogicho (private collection), Important Cultural Property
Inagawa senyu-zu (boating in Inagawa River) (private collection), Important Cultural Property

Literary works
Toseki sasaroku
Sanchujin jozetsu (a commentary on bunjin-ga paintings and their history)
Chikuden-soshi yusho roku (record)
Baiga nikki (diary)
Zanyu nikki (diary)
Kachikuyuso no ki (essay)
Hanoura no ki (essay)
Ochiku kiko (travelogue)
Chikuden-so shiwa (a poetry story)
Heikaron (commentary on a style of flower arrangement)


"Sanchujin jozetsu"
"Chikuden-soshi yugaroku"

[Original Japanese]