Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/97

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Survey of Painting


But it was not until the beginning of the eleventh century, when Japan was beginning to seclude itself from the foreigner, that the Japanese method of painting seems to have freed itself definitely from the Chinese. For the Kasuga school, which now succeeded the moribund Kose school, is also noticed as the founder of the Yamato-ye, or Japanese style, which then found its most conspicuous propagator in the great Tosa school, which flourished in the twelfth century. This style received its name, Yamato, from the contemporary name of Japan. In those days, during the Haian period (794–1186), synchronising in essentials with the Fujiwara period (870–1130), which derives its name from the family which possessed the hereditary monarchy since 669, the Japanese gave themselves up unrestrainedly to the pleasures of life, and their morals suffered grievously in consequence.

The founder of the Kasuga school at the time mentioned was the painter Motomitsu, a pupil of Kose Kimmochi, one of the last representatives of the Kose school. Burty traces back the designation "Kasuga school" to the temple of the same name at Nara, which temple, it is said, was from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries furnished with paintings by Takachika and his successors.[1] Burty mentions the Takuma school as another fairly contemporaneous school, which flourished from the eleventh to the fourteenth century.

Not indeed a school, but a particular branch of painting, that called Toba-ye, or the Comic, was founded in the twelfth century by a Buddhist priest of high mark, Ko Kuyu, called Toba Sojo, who died in 1140, and is supposed to have been the first to draw caricatures. Bing praises their liveliness and modern spirit. Fenollosa observes, however, that these humorous sketches are not necessarily to be considered as his pre-eminent

  1. Cat. Burty, p. xvi.; not so Gierke, p. 23; cf. Anderson, Transact., p. 344.