The One about the Tomb of Kano Hogai in Yanaka

In yesterday’s post, I discussed the Okakura Tenshin Memorial Site in Yanaka and how he started the Japan Art Institute (Nihon Bijutsuin).

But not far from the Memorial Site is the Tomb of Kano Hogai, a famouse Japanese painter of the early Meiji era.

A painter of the Kano school, he is one of the last Kano painters and his paintings show experimentation of Western methods and styles.

But with the fall of the shogunate in 1868, Kano had to find ways to support himself, so he worked other jobs from casting iron, running a shop that sells writing instruments and also a job in reclaiming land.

In 1877, Hogai returned to Tokyo (Edo at the time) and worked for the wealthy Shimazu clan which gave him the opportunity to study works by Japanese painters, Sesshu and Sesson.

In 1884, he attracted the attention of Ernest Fenollosa, the art critic, collector and professor of Tokyo Empire University and along with Okakura Tenshin and Hashimoto Gaho, they were members of the Painting Appreciation Society.  A society created to draw attention to the traditional Japanese arts especially from the Heian and Nara periods which was becoming neglected.   And as more interests towards western art became popular in Japan, a lot of this classical art was sold or destroyed, which Hogai and Tenshin were against.

Artwork by Kano Hogai

Also, Hogai and Okakura Tenshin helped establish the Tokyo Fine Art School (located at now Tokyo University of Arts) but Hogai would pass away at the age of 61 before the school had opened.

Hogai’s tomb is located near the center of the graveyard of the temple and the stone monument (erected in front of the main building in 1917).

Here are photos of the location where the Tomb of Kano Hogai in Yanaka: