Portraits of ordinary people crafted by Kawahara Keiga, an Edo Period Japanese painter in the service of German physician and botanist Philipp Franz von Siebold, are attracting renewed interest on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Siebold's arrival in Japan.

Unlike Katsushika Hokusai and other ukiyo-e artists of his generation, Kawahara (1786-1860s?) learned the fundamentals of Western painting techniques from a Dutch painter and mixed them with traditional Japanese methods.

His unique realist style was fostered in Nagasaki, which was the only window to the West during the Edo Period (1603-1867). Kawahara studied under painter Ishizaki Yushi, a master of the Nagasaki painting style.