Born into a physician's family, Chikuden was an avid reader of Chinese treatises on Ming Dynasty painting, among other topics, and was eventually named court historian to the daimyô of his domain. While in that position, he befriended Kangaku scholar Rai San'yô. Chikuden later resigned from his post in protest against his lord's treatment of a peasant revolt.
Kido Takayoshi wrote of Chikuden being his favorite painter.
- Marius Jansen, China in the Tokugawa World, Harvard University Press (1992), 62.