Kano Shunko

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Prince Misato Shô Ki Chôtei, as depicted by Shunko in a 1710 Ryukyu embassy scroll, in the collection of the British Museum
  • Died: 1726/3/20
  • Other Names: 岡澤宇右衛門 (Okazawa Uemon), 元珍 (Genchin)
  • Japanese: 狩野春湖 (Kanou Shunko)

Kanô Shunko was a Kanô school painter and founding head of the Inaribashi branch of the school.

A native of Shinano province, he came to serve as guardian for Shunsetsu's son Kanô Shunshô. Originally known as Okazawa Uemon Genchin, he studied under Kanô Shun'un Nobuyuki.[1] He was eventually permitted to take the name "Kanô," and began his own branch family, the Inari-bashi Kanô. Shunko was also employed for a time as official court painter to Tokugawa Tsunatoyo, lord of Kôfu han (Tsunatoyo would later become Shogun under the name Tokugawa Ienobu), and it was while in that position, in 1694, that he was first ordered to produce a series of works by Arai Hakuseki. This series was a collection of depictions of birds and flowers and other objects, commissioned on the occasion of Hakuseki having been invited to give a formal lecture to Tsunatoyo. The collection, known as shikyôzu ("Images of Poems and Sutras") is today in the collection of the Imperial Household Agency.[1]

Continuing to work for Hakuseki in later years,[2] he produced a number of official paintings for the Tokugawa shogunate. Among these were a Ryûkyû Edo Nobori handscroll depicting the 1710 Ryukyuan embassy procession to/in Edo, today in the collection of the British Museum.[2], and a folding screen painting depicting the 1711 Korean embassy to Edo.[1]

Shunko died in 1726 and was succeeded as head of the Inaribashi Kanô by Kanô Shunga; the school would end with Shunga, however.[3]


  • "Kanô Shunko." Digital-ban Nihon jinmei daijiten デジタル版 日本人名大辞典. Kodansha, 2009.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Yokoyama Manabu, Ryûkyûkoku shisetsu tôjô gyôretsu emaki wo yomu, in Kurushima Hiroshi (ed.), Egakareta gyôretsu (University of Tokyo Press, 2015), 168-169.
  2. British Museum gallery label.[1]
  3. Yokoyama, 190n9.