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Kaii Hisashiyama Profile

Kaii Higashiyama (center), together with his father, Kosuke, and his elder brother, Kunizo. 1913
First-year student at higher school under the old system of education.
Near the top of Monc Blanc, Switzerland. A photo of his travel in Europe during his study in Germany. 1934.
Drafting one of his masterpieces, Twilight.
The Japan Academy Awards ceremony. 1956.
Dialogue with the chair in the Tuileries Garden, Paris. 1975.
Drawing the Toshodaiji Miei-do Murals, Mountain Clouds.
Sketching at Guilin. 1976.
Brief Biography
1908 Born on July 8 in Yokohama, the second son of Kosuke Higashiyama (a ship chandler) and his wife, Kuni, his given name was Shinkichi. As a child he showed great interest in art and often painted in his free time.
1921 He entered the Nihon-ga (Japanese-style painting) Department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts.
1926 Graduating from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, he entered into its research department, where he began training under Somei Yuki, and adopted the name "Kaii", instead of "Shinkichi" when signing his works.
1931 Graduating from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, he entered into its research department, where he began training under Somei Yuki, and adopted the name "Kaii", instead of "Shinkichi" when signing his works.
1933 He completed his work in the research department of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts and in August, boarded a cargo ship bound for Europe. In October, he arrived in Berlin where he was to continue his studies. He studied German in the foreign students department, frequenting the local art galleries.
1935 Although he had planned to study in Europe the following year, after completing his second semester at Berlin University he was called back to Japan as his father was ill.
1940 On the 21st of November he married Sumi Kawasaki, the eldest daughter of the painter Shoko Kawasaki, and moved to Saginomiya in Tokyo.
1945 In December, he moved to Ichikawa, and began painting again.
1947 In October, he exhibited “Dim Sunlight” in the 3rd Nitten (National Art Academy) Exhibition. The painting was much admired and was purchased by the government. He decided to concentrate his efforts on landscape painting.
1950 Appointed a member of the Nitten Exhibition jury for the first time, he entered "Road" in the 6th Nitten Exhibition, a work that won him the recognition of both the art world and public.
1956 Kai received the Japan Art Academy Award for "Twilight”, which he had painted the previous year, and which was later purchased by the government. In October, he exhibited "Pine Garden" in the 12th Nitten Exhibition.
1959 In November, entered "Sea at Dusk" that is a painting of Hituishi island where his grandfather had been born and raised into the 2nd Shin-Nitten exhibition.
1960 In celebration of the construction of the Togu Palace of the Crown Prince, Kai painted murals for the state dining room, entitled "Sun, Moon, and the Four Seasons".
1962 Having received a commission from the Imperial Household Agency to paint "Draped in Fresh Green" for the new Fukiage Palace, Kai held his first retrospective exhibition in Tokyo, with a selection from sixty works drawn over fourteen years.
1965 In January, he was appointed a member of the Japan Art Academy, and accepted the post of Shin-Nitten Exhibition director. It was at this time that he decided to use waves and rocks to symbolize Japan in the motifs for the murals in the New Imperial Palace.
1968 In April, he completed the murals in the New Imperial Palace. He was appointed a member of the Specialist Committee of the Council for the Protection of Cultural Treasures, and in November he held an exhibition of seventeen sketches and studies under the title "The Four Seasons of Kyoto".
1969 In January, he was awarded the Mainichi Art award for "Tide at Daybreak" and the production of the exhibition.
From April to September, he made a sketching tour of Germany and Austria with his wife, and in November, was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit.
1973 In January, he traveled throughout Japan on a sketching tour in preparation for painting the murals at Toshodai-ji, temple and as a result of his travels, chosing the mountains and the sea as motifs. In August he exhibited for the first time in Kagawa. The exhibition of 150 works was divided into four themed groups: "Northern European Lanscapes", "The Four Seasons of Kyoto", "Journeys through Austria and Germany" and "Scenery with white horses".
1974 He became chairman of the board of directors at Kaiso-Nitten.
1975 He painted "Spring Daybreak" as a gift from the Emperor and Empress of Japan to the Queen Elizabeth II on her state visit to Japan. In May, he completed the first group of murals for Toshodai-ji titled "Mountain Clouds-The Sound of Waves", and in June he dedicated them to the temple.
1977 In April, "The Toshodai-ji Temple Exhibition" which included "Mountain Clouds" and "The Sound of Waves" was held at the Petit Palais in Paris.
1980 In February, he completed the second group of three murals for Toshodai-ji titled "Dawn Clouds at Huang-shan", "May Breeze in Yangzhou", and "Moonlit Night at Gujlin. After they were exhibited in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, in June, he officially presented them to the temple.
1981 In August, he held a "Kaii Higashiyama Exhibition" at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. In November, he officially presented his work "Benign Light" to Toshodai-ji.
1984 In April, he became adviser to the Nitten Exhibition and in June he was selected to join the committee at the Federal Republic of Germany's "Orden pour le Merite, Wissenschaften und Kunste" and received his award at Bonn University the following year.
1990 In January, Kaii received a commission from the Imperial Household Agency to paint a screen showing folksongs from the Y?ki region for the wall of the T?meiden reception room in the Imperial Palace as part of the celebrations for the enthronement of the Emperor. It was finished in the September of that year and shown at the ceremony during the banqueting celebrations.
1994 In November, the Higashiyama Kaii art gallery was opened in Ichikawa City.
1995 In August, the Kokoro-no-Tabiji, Spiritual Journey art gallery was opened in Yamaguchi-mura, Nagano.
1998 In November, "Moonlight" was entered into the 30th Nitten exhibition. It was his final Nitten exhibition entry.
1999 On May the 6th, Kaii died of old age, decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Precious Crown, 3rd rank.
2005 In April, the Higashiyama Kaii Setouchi Art Museum was opened by Kagawa Prefecture.

『東山魁夷 自然のなかの喜び』(講談社刊)
“Higashiyama Kaii ”Kodansha Culture Books 100 , 1995.