Native placeHodaka, Nagano, JPN
Dead placeTokyo, JPN


Born in Higashihotaka-mura, Minamiazumi-gun, Nagano prefecture. Move to Tokyo in 1899 and studied Western-style painting at the Fudo-sha. Traveled to New York for study in 1901 and on to Paris in 1903, where he studied at the Académie Julian. The following year he saw Rodin's “The Thinker” in the Salon exhibition and this determined his shift to sculpture. In 1905 he entered the sculpture department of the Académie Julian, visited Rodin and received his helpful advice. In 1908 he returned to Japan. Entered his Priest Mongaku in the 2nd Bunten exhibition held in 1908 where it received 3rd Prize. The following year his Portrait of Hojo Torakichi also earned a 3rd Prize. His works filled with a sense of vitality and his statements about Rodin brought Japanese sculpture into the Modern age, and he gathered around him such compatriots as the painting students Nakamura Tsune, Nakahara Teijiro, and Tohari Kogan and Takamura Kotaro who he met while overseas. He died of a lung hemorrhage at the age of 30. His work “Woman” was named an Important Cultural Property in 1967, the first time a post-Meiji period sculpture had been to honored.

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