One of Tsukamoto’s mentees was Matsumura Ungai. When Ungai was twenty (1890) he left for Kyoto. And on Tsukamoto’s recommendation he was accepted by grand old master painter Mori Kansai (1814-1894). After Kansai’s death Ungai continued with Suzuki Shonen (1849-1918), who was young, hip, and successful.
Tsukamoto kept on being supportive. He and later his sons purchased many of the scrolls on their frequent trips to Kyoto and to Ungai’s studio. The Gokasho Merchant Museum showed a retrospective in 2000. And most of some seventy scrolls in the show came from the private Tsukamoto collection.
Two seals reveal two aspects of Ungai’s personality. The rural, simple, and cheerful upbringing – Dwelling in the Chicken Buddy Hall – and his serene, solemn, and sophisticated later live – An unattached life is like the wind and the water flowing through stones”, a line from a longer poem by Song-Dynasty poet Su Shi.
Muramatsu Ungai (1870-1926)