An artist’s renderings of electrifying inspirations received from beyond the clouds.

Tezuka Yuji is a prominent figure in the world of nihonga (Japanese-style painting) and a longtime member of the Nihon Bijutsuin, the association of nihonga artists founded in 1898 by a group including Yokoyama Taikan. Yet the prestige he has already gained has not lessened his zeal to take on new challenges in the quest to further the possibilities of his chosen genre. From landscapes and bird-and-flower images of awesome beauty and spirituality to Eigaku soryu (Double Dragons above Hieizan)—a six-by-twelve-meter work rendered in sumi ink on the 400-year-old ceiling boards of the Konpon-Chudo hall of Kan’eiji temple—this volume presents fifty-five paintings along with photographs by Hirama Itaru capturing the artist at work. Exciting and boldly designed, this is more than just a collection of artwork; it is a missive from one master painter to aspiring younger generations about what it means to live the life of an artist.


Tezuka Yuji was born in 1953 in Kanagawa Prefecture and was first selected to participate in the Inten, the annual juried exhibition of nihonga (Japanese-style painting) organized by the Nihon Bijutsuin, while still a student at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (present-day Tokyo University of the Arts). He quickly went on to become a central figure in the world of nihonga and was accepted as a full member of the Nihon Bijutsuin at the young age of thirty-nine. His work as a professor at his alma mater has brought him distinction as an educator as well. Tezuka is currently executive director of the Nihon Bijutsuin, professor emeritus of the Tokyo University of the Arts, and special director of the Fukui Fine Arts Museum.

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