In 1925 Kodojin celebrated his sixtieth birthday. Because this is considered a full lifetime, any additional years are thought of as a bonus, a new beginning after one’s family and work responsibilities have been fulfilled, and a special celebration called "kanreki" is held at this time.
I went into the mountains
to clarify my ambitions
where, for the first time,
I understood my true aims.
I simply let my soul flow like a stream
living alone beneath red ochre clouds
and the moon seen through pines.
Alas, though I have gained a simple life
I do, at times, revert to old ways.
On a summer day, 1925.
—poem & painting by Kodojin
Kodojin was born in the small town of Shingu in rural Wakayama Prefecture. Although he became so skilled in Chinese poetry that he published a collection of verse while in his twenties, Kodojin switched to making modern-style haiku after becoming a follower of Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) in 1889. Writing under his haijin name, Haritsu, Kodojin frequently published haiku in poetry magazines in the late Meiji period, and he became widely known as Shiki's disciple. In the last thirty years of his life, he again wrote Chinese verse and began to paint distinctive literati landscapes signed with his painting name, Kodojin. He also made simple paintings of plants and flowers that emphasized his dramatic brushwork and inscriptions of Chinese poetry. Kodojin was one of the earliest admirers of Tomita Keisen, who possessed a similar taste of unusual compositions and unconventional brushwork. Although the details of Kodojin's patronage remain unclear, a great many of his paintings are exquisitely mounted, suggesting that his works were acquired by wealthy collectors. - Cf. Morioka, Michiyo and Paul Berry: Modern Masters of Kyoto.
Fukuda Kodojin (1865-1944)
Ink on fabric
125.8 x 32.9 cm /49 1/2 x 13 in.)
Mounting 195.5 x 43.5 cm (77 x 17 in.)