Hasegawa Tohaku (長谷川等伯)

Tohaku HASEGAWA (1539 to March 19, 1610) was a painter in the Azuchi-Momoyama Period through to the early Edo Period.

Brief Personal History
He was born in Noto (present day Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture) in 1539. He called himself Nobuharu HASEGAWA in the beginning and painted Buddhist pictures, and after reaching the age of 30, he moved to Kyoto. He had a strong sense of rivalry toward the Kano School, which was the predominant school of art at the time--he established his own style. He was an avid believer in Nichiren-shu (the Nichiren sect of Buddhism) and had close contact with SEN no Rikyu, the man who created the Tea Ceremony. However, his eldest son, Kyuzo, who showed artistic talent and would have followed in his father's footsteps, died early (it is said that he was killed by a member of the Kano School who feared the power being gained by the Hasegawa School), and in his late life, an accident caused him to lose the use of his right arm. His private life was not a happy one. He later went to Edo at the request of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, but passed away two days after arriving.

Works
His most well known work is the Kinpeki Shohekiga (blue and gold wall painting) at the Shoun-ji Temple (now closed and the wall painting partially relocated to the Chishaku-in Temple in Kyoto), which Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI built in the memory of his beloved son, Tsurumatsu TOYOTOMI, who died as a young child. In addition to this wall painting, he drew many ink paintings, after the style of the Song and Yuan Dynasties of China. The legacy of the Shorin-zu folding screen decorated with a painting of a pine forest is clouded in uncertainty (the theory is that it is not a finished work, but a preliminary sketch created for the folding screen), yet it is a novel work and it is hard to believe that it was created 400 years ago. It beautifully expresses an expanse of pine forest and a misty atmosphere in black ink with a minimum number of brush strokes. Many of Tohaku HASEGAWA's works are designated as important cultural properties.

Before the age of 40
Kishimojin Jurasetsunyo-zu (picture of Hariti, goddess of childbirth and children, and ten demonesses) (Daiho-ji Temple, Toyama) Important Cultural Property 1564
Shaka Tahobutsu-zu (picture of Buddha) (Daiho-ji Temple, Toyama) Important Cultural Property 1564
Nichiren Shonin Zo (portrait of a Nichiren Saint) (Daiho-ji Temple, Toyama) Important Cultural Property 1564
Sanjuban-shin-zu (portraits of 30 Gods) (Daiho-ji Temple, Toyama) Important Cultural Property 1566
Nichigyo Shonin Zo (portrait of Abbot Nichigyo Shonin) (Honpo-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1572
Den-Nawa Nagatoshi Zo (portrait believed to be that of Nagatoshi NAWA) (Tokyo National Museum) Important Cultural Property
Takeda Shingen Zo (portrait of Shingen TAKEDA) (Seikei-in Temple, Mt. Koya) Important Cultural Property
Kachozu Byobu (painting of flowers and birds on folding screen) (Myokaku-ji Temple, Okayama) Important Cultural Property

In his 50s
Daitoku-ji Sanmon Tenjo ga Hashira-e (painting on ceiling and pillars of the Sanmon gate at Daitoku-ji Temple) (Daitoku-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1589
Kyu-Sangen-in Fusumae (painting on the sliding partitions formerly at the Sangen-in Temple) (Entoku-in subtemple of Kodai-ji Temple) Important Cultural Property, circa 1589
Kyu-Sangen-in Fusumae (painting on the sliding partitions formerly at the Sangen-in Temple) (Raku Museum) Important Cultural Property, circa 1589
Kyu-Shoun-ji Shoheki-ga (wall painting formerly at Shoun-ji Temple) (Chishaku-in Temple, Kyoto) National Treasure, circa 1593
Rikyu Koji Zo (portrait of Rikyu Koji) (Fushin-an, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1595
Myoho-ni Zo (portrait of Myoho-ni) (Honpo-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1598
Shorin-zu (folding screen of the painting of pine forest) (Tokyo National Museum) National Treasure
Konchi-in Shohekiga (wall painting at the Konchi-in Temple) (Konchi-in subtemple of Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property
Chikurin Enko-zu Byobu (picture of monkey in bamboo forest on a folding screen) (Jotenkaku Museum) Important Cultural Property
Koboku Enko-zu (picture of monkey in dead trees) (Ryosen-an subtemple of Myoshin-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property, Entrusted to Kyoto National Museum
Juka Sennin-zu (picture of a hermit under a tree) (Mibu-dera Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property
Myoren-ji Shoheki-ga (wall painting at Myoren-ji Temple) (Myoren-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property, Entrusted to Kyoto National Museum

60s and thereafter
Dai-nehan-zu (large Nirvana painting) (Honpo-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1599
Suiboku Sansui-zu (landscape painting in water ink) (Rinka-in subtemple of Myoshin-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1599
Shozan Shiko-zu (picture of 4 hermits in Shozan) (Shinju-an subtemple of Daitoku-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1601
Kensu Choto-zu (picture of hermits Kensu and Choto) (Shinju-an subtemple of Daitoku-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1601
Zenki-zu (painting of Zen acts) (Tenju-an subtemple of Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1602
Shozan Shiko-zu (picture of 4 hermits in Shozan) (Tenju-an subtemple of Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1602
Ryuko-zu Byobu (folding screen with painting of dragon and tiger) (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) 1606
Nittsu Shonin-zo (portrait of Abbot Nittsu Shonin) (Honpo-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property 1608
Benkei Shosun-zu Ema (illustration of Benkei and Shoshun on horseback) (Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto) Important Cultural Asset 1608
Hato-zu (picture of swirling waves) (Zenrin-ji Temple, Kyoto) Important Cultural Property, Entrusted to Kyoto National Museum
Uro-zu Byobu (folding screen with painting of crows and herons) (Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art) Important Cultural Property

Others
Gekka Shorinzu Byobu (folding screen with painting of pine forest in the moonlight) (Private Collection) known to be the second Shorinzu
Entrusted to Kyoto National Museum