Kanzan Shimomura

Painting, Visual Artist

1873 – 1930


Who was Kanzan Shimomura?

Kanzan Shimomura was the pseudonym of a nihonga painter in Meiji through to the early Shōwa period Japan. His real name was Shimomura Seizaburō.

Kanzan was born in 1873 in Wakayama city, Wakayama prefecture into a family of hereditary Noh actors.

Having moved to Tokyo at the age of eight, Kanzan studied under Kanō Hōgai, and after Hōgai's death, under Hashimoto Gahō. He graduated first in his class at the Tōkyō Bijutsu Gakkō, and became a teacher at the same institution in 1894.

When Okakura Tenshin left government service to establish the Japan Fine Arts Academy, Kanzan joined him, together with Yokoyama Taikan and Hishida Shunsō. However, Kanzan returned to his teaching post at the Tokyo Bijutsu Gakkō from 1901–1908, with a hiatus from 1903–1905, when he went to study in England.

From 1914, he helped reestablish the Japan Fine Arts Academy, and in 1917 was appointed a court painter to the Imperial Household Agency. He served as a judge for both the Bunten and the Inten Exhibitions.

In terms of style, Kanzan was influenced by the Rimpa and the Kanō schools, as well as early Buddhist paintings and Tosa school Emakimono. To these elements, he combined the realism developed from his exposure to western art works during his stay in England.

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Apr 10, 1873
  • Japan
  • Tokyo University of the Arts
Lived in
  • Wakayama Prefecture
  • Wakayama
May 10, 1930

on July 23, 2013


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