KŌRIN, OGATA (c. 1657–1716), Japanese painter and lacquerer, was born at Kōtō, the son of a wealthy merchant who had a taste for the arts and is said to have given his son some elementary instruction therein. Kōrin also studied under Soken Yamamoto, Kanō, Tsunenobu and Gukei Sumiyoshi; and he was greatly influenced by his predecessors Kōyetsu and Sōtatsu. On arriving at maturity, however, he broke away from all tradition, and developed a very original and quite distinctive style of his own, both in painting and in the decoration of lacquer. The characteristic of this is a bold impressionism, which is expressed in few and simple highly idealized forms, with an absolute disregard either of realism or of the usual conventions. In lacquer Kōrin’s use of white metals arid of mother-of-pearl is notable; but herein he followed Kōyetsu. Kōrin died on the 2nd of June 1716, at the age of fifty-nine. His chief pupils were Kagei Tatebashi and Shikō Watanable; but the present knowledge and appreciation of his work are largely due to the efforts of Hōitsu Sakai, who brought about a revival of Kōrin’s style.
See A. Morrison, The Painters of Japan (1902); S. Tajima, Masterpieces selected from the Kōrin School (1903); S. Hōitsu, The 100 Designs by Kōrin (1815) and More Designs by Kōrin (1826). (E. F. S.)