Fukuda Kodojin (1865-1944) Landscape painting


Fragrant breezes waft
“The eccentricity of the paintings by Fukuda Kodojin resembles that seen in the works of many other self-taught literati painters in Japan. Even though Chinese literati ideals celebrated the concept of amateurism, Chinese literati painters usually attained near professional levels of brush technique. In Japan, however, many artists, Kodojin among them, respected this amateur ideal by training themselves, taking pride in their naive but vigorous brushwork. In this Kodojin followed the lead of earlier self-taught literati painters, such as Uragami Gyokudo, Kameda Bosai, and Hosokawa Rinkoku, who employed irregular styles of brushwork. (Paul Berry, in: Modern Masters of Kyoto, p. 216)


“Originally noted more for his poetry than his painting, Kodojin set the tone for his landscapes through his inscriptions. Self taught in painting, the eccentric poet-painter created landscapes in a variety of unusual styles.” (Paul Berry, in: Literati Modern, p. 152)

Translation of the poem by Jonathan Chaves, in Stephen Addiss: Old Taoist, p. 94. – This poem was published in “Poems from the Quiet Place Mountain Studio” (Seisho sanbo shu), 1912: “A collection of kanshi that established him as one of the leading masters of the day. As his verses make clear, Kodojin was confident about the ideals of his life, wehter or not he was understood by others.”

Green shade, hidden grasses,
butterflies on wing,
the sun emerges in the mountains,
dew has not yet dried.
The fourth month is pure and lovely,
harmonious with my mood;
fragrant breezes waft and fill
the robe of this country man.


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