The father of Japanese painting is often referred to as Taik* Josetsu. Josétsu, a Chinese migrant, came to Japan around 1370, and he was the first person to introduce the art of the great Chinese painters of the time to the country. In addition to being a master of several Japanese painters of his time, Tensho Shubun is also legendary. In Josetsu’s most famous work, “Catching Cat-fish With a Gourd,” a catfish is caught with a gourd. painting shows a man trying to catch a catfish with a gourd, commissioned by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi (1386-1428). It is unclear whether the painting portrays humorous scenes or if it seeks to inspire deeper thought. It is crystal clear that Chinese painters such as Ma Yuan were influenced by the river landscape. There are mountains and streams in the landscape that dominate it. What is quite unique about it is its focusing of the details in one very specific area. In the great landscape paintings of the Song Dynasty, he paints the bamboos and the riverbanks with a level of accuracy and detail that contrasts with the unfinished look of the mountains in the background.

By Peter