Todaiji painter Koizumi dies at 87

Kyodo

Artist Junsaku Koizumi, who painted 40 paper screens of Todaiji, the renowned Buddhist temple in Nara Prefecture, died Monday of pneumonia at a hospital in Yokohama, his family said. He was 87.

Koizumi studied under the famed Kyujin Yamamoto (1900-1986) while attending Tokyo School of Fine Arts, which later became Tokyo University of the Arts.

He won his first award at a 1954 exhibition of new paintings. After he turned 40, he tended to stay away from painters’ circles and was sometimes described as a noble loner. He produced many ink paintings of magnificent and serene landscapes.

Koizumi’s representative works include ceiling paintings at Kenchoji Temple in his native Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, and at Kenninji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture. In 2010, he completed the 40 paper screens at Todaiji, a World Heritage site.

He also created calligraphy work and pottery.