Biography Ungai, Muramatsu 雲外 村松 (1870 - ?)
Muramatsu Ungai was born in the Ohmi area near Kyoto in 1870. He served the family of the Gokasho merchant Sadaemon Tsukamoto.
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Although the merchant class was considered the lowest in rank in Japan, they were the pillars supporting the economy, and therefore, art. The Ohmi merchants were known for their culture and education. The relationship between painters in Kyoto and merchants in Ohmi goes back to old times. Especially from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji era, many painters in Kyoto stayed at merchant houses in Ohmi to avoid the riots in Kyoto. Among them were famous painters of their time, like Shiokawa Bunrin, Takeuchi Seihō, and Tomioka Tessai.
At the same time, many young men from the merchant houses aimed to work as painters. The best-known of these Ohmi painters is undoubtedly Nomura Bunkyo (1854-1911), who studied under Shiokawa Bunrin and Mori Kansai, and became a teacher at he Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting.
Muramatsu Ungai was also recognised for his artistic talent by his master Tsukamoto and was given the opportunity to be trained as a painter.