Painter Fuku Akino, who specialized in Indian themes, died Thursday morning of heart failure at her home in Kyoto, her family said. She was 93.

Akino, from Tenryu, Shizuoka Prefecture, took up Indian themes following a one-year stint as a guest professor at a university in India in the early 1960s. She frequently visited India in later years.

Akino was named a person of cultural merit in 1991 and received the Order of Culture in 1999.

After graduating in 1926 from a teacher-training school in Shizuoka, Akino took up a post at an elementary school but quit after about a year.

She learned Japanese-style painting in Kyoto under the tutelage of the late Suisho Nishiyama, who specialized in figure paintings, landscapes and historical subjects.

In 1948, along with painter Shoko Uemura, Akino left the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Nitten), and organized the Sozo Bijutsu (Creative Arts) group as a venue to create and promote new Japanese-style paintings.

She later became an assistant professor and professor at what is now the Kyoto City University of Arts and assumed the post of professor emeritus after retirement.

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