White-naped Cranes

Neagari Tomiji 

Year unknown

Donated by Watanabe Riemon

Neagari Tomiji (1895-1981) was born in the town of Sakata (modern Sakata City). While attending Yamagata Prefectural Shōnai Middle School (currently Tsuruoka Minami High School), he studied under Onuki Hakudō, and under Yūki Somei while at the Tōkyō School of Fine Arts​ (now the Tōkyō University of the Arts). After graduating, his work was specially selected for the 4th and 6th   Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Teiten at the time). In 1928, he had the honor of being chosen for exemption from the selecting committee process when submitting to the Teiten exhibition. In 1935, Neagari painted the mural “Oūjun Kōbahitsu Goran no Zu” (Painting of the Viewing of the Lucky Horses on Procession to Ou Provinces) for the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery located in the outer garden of Meiji Shrine. In 1938, he revitalized the Nihonga-in alongside the likes of Kawasaki Shōko, and instructed upcoming artists at the Imperial Art School (modern Musashino Art University). In 1941, he became a judge for the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Bunten at the time). During the war, he evacuated to Tsuruoka, where he gave his undivided attention to crafting art. Post-war, he was active as a judge for the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Nitten at the time).