Kataoka Tamako, the great master of Japanese painting awarded the Order of Culture, passed away last Wednesday. She was 103.
She began by painting figures, mostly people who were close to her. In the 1950s, she became engaged with traditional motifs and developed a bold and exuberant style. Around the same time, she discovered the vital appeal of landscape, which had previously been regarded as the background of her figure paintings. She often takes her most beloved mountain, Mt. Fuji, above all as her subject.
She was one of the artist whom I like the best. Although she was not in good physical condition when I met her lastly, the news has shaken me to the core. I pray for the soul of her and her family.