Morikazu Kumagai (1880-1977, Japanese)

Kumagai and blind cats 1950s

Morikazu Kumagai with Blind Japanese Bobtail

Morikazu Kumagai (1880-1977, Japanese) was an oil and watercolor painter and recluse who remained within the confines of his home for 30 years. The son of a silk merchant and mayor of Gifu, Morikazu left for Tokyo in 1900 at age 17 to become a painter.  In 1904, he graduated and in 1905 he went to the island of Sakhalin and drew the life there. During his lifetime he was a member of various artist groups and exhibited his works regularly. In 1967 his works were exhibited in Paris to wide acclaim.  Even though awarded the Japanese Order of Culture, he declined acceptance based upon modesty. In 1976, a museum was established in his home town to hold his works.







Morikazu’s style is that of muted tones. His cat paintings are primarily in the colors of brown, red, black and white. His lines are simple and could be called understood as naïve. Undoubtedly, he was a cat lover, capturing his own pets in his numerous paintings.

Kumagai Morikazu (1880-1977) with cat


Morikazu died at 97 in Tokyo.


Morikazu Kumagai with cat


Morikazu Kumagai, Black and White Cat, 1963

Black and White Cat, 1963



Morikazu Kumagai, Black cat



Morikazu Kumagai, Calico Cat Sitting

Calico Cat Sitting



Morikazu Kumagai, Calico Cat, 1959

Calico Cat, 1959



Morikazu Kumagai, Cat Sleeping

Cat Sleeping



Morikazu Kumagai, Cat with Japanese script

Cat with Japanese script



Morikazu Kumagai, Ginger and white cat, 1963

Ginger and white cat, 1963



Morikazu Kumagai, Sleeping Cat1959-2

Sleeping Cat, 1959



Morikazu Kumagai, Sleeping White Cat

Sleeping White Cat



Morikazu Kumagai, White Cat

White Cat



Morikazu kumagai cats



Cat Nakajim House, Morikazu Kumagai

Cat Nakajim House


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


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