“Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Sakai Hoitsu’s Birth: Sakai Hoitsu and the Edo Rimpa School”


by Tomoko Hori

Staff Writer

Born into the distinguished family of the feudal lord of the Himeji region of Hyogo Prefecture, Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828) had the luxury of being able to enjoy haiku poetry and calligraphy from a young age. In his 20s, he started to immerse himself in street culture, such as kyōka (satrical poems) and ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), and at age 37, he chose to distance himself from his family when he became a priest. Around that time, Sakai also became particularly interested in Rimpa — a decorative style of painting and calligraphy established by such artists as Tawaraya Sotatsu and Ogata Korin — and he worked on developing a more sophisticated version, so creating a new style called Edo Rimpa.

This exhibition traces Sakai’s career through a selection of his works, including his representative piece “Summer and Autumn Grasses,” a set of folding screens designated as an Important Cultural Property. Also on show are Edo Rimpa works by other artists; till Oct. 2.

Himeji City Museum of Art, (079) 222-2288, 68-25; Honmachi, Himeji-shi; 6-min. bus ride or 20-min. walk from Himeji Station, JR Kobe Line. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥1,200. Closed Sept. 12, 20. www.city.himeji.lg.jp/art.