two female musicians strolling and holding shamisen; hanging scroll; ink and color on paper; signed Kiyochika and with artist's seal ni roku Kiyochika; post 1880s
painting: 11 by 7 7/8 in., 28 by 20 cm
overall: 36 1/4 by 11 3/8 in., 92 by 29 cm
Kobayashi Kiyochika was the ninth child of a retainer of the Tokugawa shogun. In January of 1868, at the age of nineteen, Kiyochika fought for the shogun in his doomed battle against the Choshu clan in Osaka. He followed the defeated shogun to Shizuoka and managed to support himself as a performer in traveling fencing shows for a few years. Eventually, Kiyochika returned to Edo (by then, renamed Tokyo) in 1874 and began pursuing an artistic career. He never formally trained with any master or school, although his own self-proclaimed influences were those of the ukiyo-e artists. Ironically, although his birthright as a samurai was obliterated due to the elimination of the shogunate as a result of the unrelenting pressures from foreign powers forcing Japan to open up to trade, in his artistic pursuits Kiyochika embraced foreign influences. He blended his interpretation of the ukiyo-e school with Western-style techniques. Although he had few pupils, his adaptation of Western influences, and reinterpretation of ukiyo-e would garner influence with artists of the shin-hanga movement. Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) in particular, was adamant that Kiyochika had the greatest influence on his work.
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
March 21, 2023
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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