Kano Michinobu (狩野典信)

Michinobu KANO (December 20, 1730-September 24, 1790) was a painter in the Takekawacho family and later the sixth in the Kobikicho-famly Kano school during the Edo period. His father was Hisanobu KANO and his children included Korenobu KANO. His pseudonyms were Eisenin and Hakugyokusai.

He became a hogen (priest of the second highest rank) at the age of 33 in 1762, an okueshi (prestigious official painter) in the following year, and an oishinami in 1773, which made his generation the first in the Takekawacho family to be an okueshi. It was a general custom to return one's land once he received a new residence, but Michinobu was a strong favorite with Ieharu TOKUGAWA and received a new land in 1777 while still possessing his former residence in Takekawa-cho. After this, the Naonobu KANO's family was retrospectively referred as the Kobikicho Kano family. His residence in Kobikicho was a portion of the former residence of Okitsugu TANUMA, which spawned a folklore that Michinobu and Okitsugu met through each other's postern, and Okitsugu always held his private consultations in Michinobu's residence. He became a hoin (priest of the highest rank) in 1780.

In the mid 18th century, when the introduction of the Nanpin school helped the popular art world grow into maturity, the Kano school, which had been a mere name, became unable to satisfy their clients and began to lose them. Sensing a crisis, Michinobu strived to rejuvenate the debilitated Kano school by restoring the strong brushing line of Chinese-style painting. Attempts like this appealed to the shogun, which perhaps is why Michinobu was a favorite. It is hard to say Michinobu was successful in his attempt for pictorial expression, but his determination was taken over by the painters in the Kobikicho family, which later became most prosperous among the four families of okueshi until the end of the Edo period.

Major Works
Bokusho Bokubai-zu (pine and plum trees all in India ink) at Ishibashi Museum
Daikoku-zu (Daikoku in painting) at Itabashi Art Museum
at Itabashi Art Museum
Tanuma Okitsugu Ryonai Enbo-zu (distant view of Okitsugu TANUMA's estate) at Sagara Castle in Makinohara City
at Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art