Japan Visits

Yokoyama Taikan: An Artist Remembered

— Satyasri Ukil

Monochrome reproduction of Japanese landscape with trees and boat by Yokoyama Taikan
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
This article is reprinted from ‘Art & Deal’, March-April, 2001.

To get a perspective on Yokoyama Taikan and his role and influence in starting the revivalist / nationalist art movement in Bengal in the first decade of the last century, it would be fit to start the inquiry at the event of Okakura Kakuzo’s visit to the house of the Jorasanko Tagores in the year 1902.

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Yokoyama Taikan: As I Knew Him

— Mukul Dey

 Pen-n-ink sketch ofYokoyama Taikan by Mukul Dey, Japan 1916
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
This three-page, typed and unpublished article, entitled ‘Yokoyama Taikan: As I Knew Him’ by Mukul Dey was found in two parts: The first two pages being found in May 1996 and the rest in December 2000 among Dey’s papers in Santiniketan. The article  was dated May 19, 1958, the year Yokoyama Taikan passed away.

As a young artist pupil of the Tagore family I was so fortunate as to be invited to join Gurudev’s party on his lecture tour to America in 1916. On the way we decided to visit Japan in order to meet again the famous Japanese artist Yokoyama Taikan, who had been to India soon after 1900.

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Mukul Dey's Letter from Sankeien

— Mukul Dey

Facsimile of Mukul Dey’s letter
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
English Translation and Facsimile

Yokohama
19.6.1916

Dear Father,

Couple of days ago we came here from Tokyo. Gurudev and the others have arrived as well. We are staying with a very famous Japanese millionaire here.

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Remembering Tomitaro Hara

— Satyasri Ukil

‘Kiyo-san’, brush and ink sketch by Mukul Dey, done at Tomitaro Hara’s Sankeien, 1916.
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
An Art Lover Extraordinaire of Meiji Japan

A successful silk merchant named Tomitaro Hara built a mansion by the sea in Honmoku. He bought exquisite teahouses and other ancient structures in Kyoto and elsewhere and had them dismantled and rebuilt in his garden. Hara named his garden Sankeien, for it was blessed with three glens, one of which opened out to a small beach and a view of the bay”

So wrote Kunio Francis Tanabe in his article Memories of Old Honmoku in The Japan Times of May 19, 1999.

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