Silver Wind The Arts of Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828) Matthew McKelway

Publication date:
04 Oct 2012
Japan Society
192 pages: 241 x 254mm
110 color illus.


Sakai Hōitsu was one of the most prominent painters of late 18th- and early 19th-century Japan, known for technical bravura, arresting compositions, and striking use of color. After becoming a Buddhist monk, Hōitsu was able to dedicate himself to painting, establishing a studio and studying the work of Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716). Hōitsu successfully revived the earlier artist's style, which later came to be known as Rimpa, "the school of Kōrin."

The first book in English to focus exclusively on the work of this important artist, Silver Wind examines fifty-eight of Hōitsu's works and those of his predecessors and artistic heirs, ranging from scrolls and screens to fans, lacquer, and woodblock-printed books. Accompanying essays explore Hōitsu's discovery and reinterpretation of Kōrin's artistic legacy; the aesthetics of the Rimpa style; and the career of Suzuki Kiitsu, his leading student.

Matthew P. McKelway is Takeo and Itsuko Atsumi Associate Professor of Japanese Art History at Columbia University. Tadashi Kobayashi is former professor of art history at Gakushūin University, Tokyo. Toshinobu Yasumura is director of the Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo.

“Rimpa is a Japanese artistic tradition noted for its decorative and poetic imagery. Sakai Hoitsu was one of the last artists to work in the style, and one of the most notable if undervalued practitioners…the book should be an important contribution to understanding Japanese art of the period.”—Publishers Weekly


“[An] elegant, well researched catalog…Highly recommended.”—Choice