The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Rare! Imai Keiju Festive Japanese Scroll, Tai-fish

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1950: Item # 1174272

Please refer to our stock # ALR4151 when inquiring.
The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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A massive celebratory image of Tai (sea bream) by important 20th century artist Imai Keiju in superb mounting enclosed in a wooden box signed Gorei. These fish have attitude! Sea Bream are an auspicious image in Japan due to their name (Tai) which is a homonym with medetai (celebration). The pigment on silk image is framed in patterned brocades and features bone rollers. The scroll is 51-1/2 x 78 inches (130 x 199 cm). There are two white points on the silk where it appears the silk was once bent, perhaps before mounting (see close-up photos). The box reads Onshi Keiju Sensei Kyoto Okazai Hoshoji-cho Jidai Kessaku (Earlier Work by the honorable Keiju of Hosho-ji-cho Kyoto) and is signed Gorei.
Imai Keiju (1891-1967) was born in Mie prefecture and lived his life in Kansai, cultural heart of Japan. After graduating the Kyoto School of Art, he studied Maruyama School technique under his to-be father in law, the great Imao Keinen (1845-1924), from whom he received his name. However he was later separated, and in 1953 moved his studio back to his birthplace of Mie.
Wakabe Gorei (1918-1987) was a landscape artist born in Mie prefecture who studied first under Nishimura Goun, then Imai Keiju.