Hishida Shunso (1874 – 1911, Japanese)

Shunso HishidaHishida Shunso or Shunso Hishida (1874 – 1911, Japanese) his real name Hishida Miyoji, was a Meiji period painter and is known for his paintings of cats and developing a new painting genre called Nihonga.

Born in Iida city, he soon moved to Tokyo to study with the artist Yuki Masaaki and eventually enrolled in the forerunner of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.  Shunso was employed by the Imperial Household Museum (Tokyo National Museum) to copy Buddhist paintings at temples in Kyoto and Nara. In the early 1900’s he traveled to the United States and Europe. When he returned to Japan, he held several exhibitions of his works.

Shunso’s style was revolutionary in that his new method replaced line drawings that were characteristic of traditional Japanese paintings. Unfortunately, his style was criticized and termed “moro-tai” (vague). Because of the criticism, Hishida Shunso decided to integrate his style with traditional line drawings. The result was a new genre Nihonga.

His paintings of cats are done in the Nihonga style and are delicate and light.  Cats are mostly posed under various types of trees. His work Black Cat (1910) was used as a commemorative postage stamp in 1979.


Kuroki Neko, Hishida Shunso

Kuroki Neko
Used as a postage stamp in 1979



Hishida Shunso Cat and Plum Blossoms

Cat and Plum Blossoms




Cat under Plum Blossom Tree, Hishida Shunso

Cat under Plum Blossom Tree 2




Detail, Cat Under Plum Blossoms, Hishida Shunso

Detail, Cat Under Plum Blossoms




Camellias and Cat, Hishida Shunso

Camellias and Cat




Cat under an Odong Tree, Shunso Hishida

Cat under an Odong Tree




Bamboo and Cat, Hishida Shunso

Bamboo and Cat





Cat, Hishida Shunso





Black Cat Hishida Shunso, 1910

Black Cat, 1910




Detail, Black cat Hishida Shunso

Detail, Black Cat




Black Cat and Tree, Hishida Shunso

Black Cat and Tree




Cat under a Plum Tree, Hishida Shunsō

Cat under a Plum Tree




Cat under Kasuga Tree Shunso Hishida

Cat under Kasuga Tree




Sleeping cat, Hishida Shunso

Sleeping Cat


Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you.  Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 



Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Laura Vocelle

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:

Deprecated: Directive 'allow_url_include' is deprecated in Unknown on line 0