Kuroda Seiki: Setting and Transversing Artistic Boundaries in Meiji Japan

Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Asian Studies

Reader 1

Bruce Coats

Reader 2

Kyoko Kurita

Rights Information

© 2013 Sitie I. Djojohadikusumo


Kuroda Seiki (1866-1924) is widely considered as the father of Japanese Modern Art. After studying in France for nearly a decade, he returned to Japan and brought the Western-style oil painting (yōga) to a larger audience. His controversial and progressive artwork forced the public to consider the larger questions in play within the political backdrop of the Meiji restoration. He integrated the nude genre and the plein-air art theories into the art pedagogy. He not only influenced and informed the public with his paintings. He made sure to educate the public, served on committees and taught in schools. Being at the right place at the right time, he had an outsized influence on artistic development in Meiji Japan, changing the course of Japanese Modern Art.

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This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.