Top Page

1884 - 1934

Takehisa was born in Oku, Okayama prefecture in 1884. While studying at a middle school affiliated with Waseda University, he submitted short stories and koma-e pictures to a magazine, which recognized his talent and made him one of its regular contributors. In 1916 he became chief editor of illustrations for the Shin-shojo [New Girls], a magazine by the publisher of the nation's oldest women's magazine, Fujin no tomo [Woman's Friend]. Around that time he became strongly influenced by modernism, and he became a leader of the "Taisho romanticism" movement that flowered in the 1910s. In 1931 he fulfilled his long-cherished dream to study overseas, but due to various difficulties and a shortage of funds he returned to Japan not long after. By mixing the traditions of ukiyo-e and European modernism, Takehisa proved skillful at an expression of poetic sentiments that formed a striking contrast to the academicism of art circles of the day. He contributed many illustrations to children's magazines, including Kodomo no kuni [Children's Land], for which he illustrated for the first two years after its inauguration. In 1934 he became ill and died just before his fiftieth birthday.