.A small port town in Hokkaido some twenty miles north-west of Sapporo offered an abundance of activities like fishing, farming, and mining. But for a young Artist like Fudeya Tokan this was not inspiring enough to stay. So Tokan left for Tokyo which was the complete opposite of his native Otaru. In 1900 he graduated from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Nihon Bijutsu Gakko), where he studied under two Nihonga legends: Hashimoto Gaho (1835-1908) and later under Gaho’s former student Yokoyama Taikan (1968-1958).
The balance in composition, the boldness of perspective and delicate coloring not only show the influence of Tokan’s teachers, but also the steps he has taken in finding his own way of painting. Roberts in his Dictionary of Japanese Artists writes, that Tokan “tended to paint rather romantic scenes from Japanese legends“. One of these “rather romantic scenes” is depicted in the present painting. A ferry man sitting in his boat waiting. The palanquin is empty. Who is he waiting for?
Fudeya Tokan (1875-1950)