Tanaka Isson



Tanaka Isson was a Japanese painter of the Showa period. He was born in Tochigi and his real name is Tanaka Takashi, and his another artist name is Beison. Since early in life, he was called a child prodigy, and entered Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko (the predecessor to the Tokyo University of the Arts) which he eventually dropped out. He won first prize at the Seiryu-sha exhibition in 1947 and, following his disagreement with the famous painter, Kawabata Ryūshi, distances himself from artistic circles the very next year. He moves to Amami island at the age of fifty and continued to paint while working at Oshima Tsumugi (a traditional silk kimono fabric woven in Amami) factory.

While he has unknown during his lifetime, his paintings, particularly those of the Amami landscape, are highly acclaimed. Many have noted that Tanaka Isson's life and work have often drawn parallels with French Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Gauguin.