- 東海大学紀要 文学部 (ISSN:05636760)
- no.64, pp.25-46,図10p, 1995
Sakura paintings-paintings whose exclusive theme is cherry blossoms (sakura)-were first created in Kyoto by the Edo-period painter Mikuma Shiko (1730-94) and continued to be painted by Shiko's sister Roko (d.1801), his disciple Hirose Kain (dates unknown), and the female painter Oda Shitsushitsu(1789-1831), Roko's disciple. These works, which were already known by the term "sakura painting" at this early time, appear at first glance to be highly realistic, but also have a clean, well-rounded, lyrical quality. They seem to have been very well received by many people of the period. Unfortunately, however, Kain and Shitsushitsu left no disciples, so the brief genealogy of sakura paintings came to an end with the death of Shitsushitsu. Probably because this school of painting was so short-lived, no trace of any research on it exists, nor has a collection of the paintings been assembled. Indeed, the school itself has not been given a name. I would like to call the sakura-painting artists, from Mikuma Shiko to Oda Shitsushitsu, the Mikuma School. In my essay I will open with an analysis of the works of Mikuma Shiko and will consider how it came about that he began painting the unique type of flower-and-bird picture known as sakura paintings.The essay will also look at the reasons why, in the light of contemporary trends in natural history and Japanese classical studies, the Mikuma School painted cherry blossoms-this very traditional Japanese motif-to the exclusion of all other subject matter.Finally, the essay will consider chronologically the works of Oda Shitsushitsu, whose works are the most refined among those of the Mikuma school, and discuss the historical position of these works within the school.