Biography Ogata, Gekk˘ 尾形月耕 (1859 - 1920)
Ogata Gekkō was born in Edo in 1859 in a wealthy family. With the death of his father the family fortunes declined sharply. Gekkō started earning a living by illustrating, designing and decorating lacquerware, pottery and china, and making prints. He taught himself the Ukiyo-e and Nanga styles of painting, and was influenced by the style of Kikuchi Yōsai. He also adopted a number of Shijō elements into his style.
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Kawanabe Kyōsai was the first to recognise his talents, and he helped him start a proper career as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines. In the 1890ĺs Ogata Gekkō and Mizuno Toshikata were the most popular illustrators of the country, especially during the Sino-Japanese war.
Gekkō was one of the founders of the Bunten. He frequently exhibited there and won prizes. In 1893 he made his debut outside Japan, on the world exhibition in Columbia and in 1904 in St Louis, where a selection from his attractive series of woodblock prints showing the landscape around Mt. Fuji was shown and won a prize. He was popular and famous both in Japan and in the western world during his life-time, but after his death he was soon forgotten. Only in recent years his importance as an artist has been recognized.