In the beauties of nature, there’s no guest, no host –
On the bank of a river I sit on a straw map.
And no matter how poor I am,
I will always know this austere valley.
The eccentricity of the paintings by Fukuda Kodojin resembles that seen in the works of many other self-taught literati painters in Japan. Even though Chinese literati ideals celebrated the concept of amateurism, Chinese literati painters usually attained near professional levels of brush technique. In Japan, however, many artists, Kodojin among them, respected this amateur ideal by training themselves, taking pride in their naive but vigorous brushwork. In this Kodojin followed the lead of earlier self-taught literati painters, such as Uragami Gyokudo, and Kameda Bosai, who employed irregular styles of brushwork. (Paul Berry: Modern Masters of Kyoto, p.216)
Kodojin showed no interest in the competitive exhibition environment, where paintings were hung, row upon row, in massive galleries in the Western-style exhibitions halls of the national shows. In order to make an impact, paintings required large formats, but the individualists were creating intimate works best viewed in isolation in small rooms or Tokonoma. (Paul Perry: Literati Modern, p.257)
Fukuda Kodojin (1865-1944)
Ink and color on silk
24.6 x 28.9 cm (9 1/2 x 11 1/4 in.)
Mounting 105.5 x 41 cm (41 1/2 x 16 in.)