Tomioka Eisen (1864 ~ 1905)

Tomioka Eisen (富岡永洗), born Tomioka Hidetaro (富岡秀太郎) in Nagano Prefecture (長野県), was the eldest son of a military retainer to the daimyo Matsushiro. After his father's death, Eisen moved to Tokyo (東京) at the age of 15 to become a draftsman. He began his apprenticeship at 18 under the guidance of Kobayashi Eitaku (小林永濯), a painter from the Kano school.
In 1878, Eisen worked for the army general staff's office but shifted his focus to painting in 1882. He continued his freelance drafting work, but also started designing kuchi-e (口絵), book frontispieces, under Eitaku’s tutelage. After his teacher's death in 1890, Eisen left the world of drafting to become an independent artist. From then on, he became a highly popular artist of sashi-e (挿絵, book or newspaper illustrations), collaborating with widely read publications like the Miyako shinbun and Shokokumin.
Eisen received commissions for books and single-sheet prints, making a decent living from his artwork. Towards the end of his life, he received a silver award from the Japan Art Institute and Japan Painting Association. Although he shifted his focus to painting in his later years, Eisen passed away before he could establish himself as a painter.
His works, characterized by a keen sensitivity to the fashions and subtleties of the world around him, reflect his skills as a draftsman in kuchi-e and sashi-e, often presented in landscape format with a central fold.