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He was a passionate seeker — a curious artist who refused to be confined by the tight boundaries of a particular aesthetic tradition.

He did not care much for convention either: In pre-modern Japan, allegiance to a single authority was the norm, but he constantly sought the guidance of a broad range of masters. It was done discreetly, of course, lest anyone take offence, but even when they did, it didn’t seem to bother him that much.

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