Donated by Ishida Makoto
Ōtaki Gessō (1873-1936) was born in Ōyama Village in Tagawa District (modern Ōyama, Tsuruoka City). He was the son of Ōtaki Gantarō, from the branch family of Ōtaki Tōzaemon, involved in the sake brewing industry. His real name was Yasutarō, and he was also known as Mokumoku Sanjin (“Silent Hermit”) and Zuikōsha. He liked paintings from a young age, and he first learned from Ōtaki Mitsutsune, a follower of the artist-monk Ichihara Entan. Soon afterwards he studied under Ishikawa Haizan. In 1907, he moved to Tōkyō, where he studied with Araki Kanpo of the flower-and-bird painting genre. Encouraged to train in Japanese painting, he conducted a study of “Nabokugahha” (south-north combined style), and became especially skilled at painting flowers and birds, people, and historical images. His work was displayed at the likes of the Bijutsu Kenseikai Exhibition and the Nihongakai Exhibition, and his work “Gekka no Ōkami” (“Wolf in the Moonlight”), featured at the twelfth Tatsumi-gakai Exhibition, was bought by the Ministry of the Imperial Household, winning him fame.