This page is devoted to Tomizo Kitamura, my father who ended his career as an artist over half a century ago without being widely known to the public.


Tomizo Kitamura was born as the third son of a merchant's family in Shiga prefecture. Although he had been weak since birth, he had talent for painting. When he knew that he could not continue to study at school for reasons of health, he started to learn painting under an artist in Kyoto, Kunitaro Teramatsu. And he finally decided to become an artist when one of his paintings was accepted for the first time at the Teiten Exhibition.

A few years later, he became pupil of Sotaro Yasui. When Yasui moved from Kyoto to Tokyo, Tomizo followed his master and started to live in Shimoochiai in Tokyo. In those days, there were many artists and novelists living in Shimoochiai, and thus, this town had an artistic atmosphere which must have stimulated his enthusiasm for creation.

As many other artists used to do, Tomizo travelled to Manchuria in China every year, and stayed there from spring to autumn in order to paint. However, after 1943, he could no longer visit China because of the war. In 1945, he and his family were evacuated from Tokyo to his hometown in Shiga.

After the end of the war, he continued to send in works to the Issuikai and other exhibitions. People used to say that he was an artist who kept on sitting in front of canvas even when he had no rice to eat the following day. However, he was too sickly and weak to survive the difficulties in the postwar period. Finally he was affected with TB and died in 1956 at the age of 53.

Since he passed away, most of his works had been kept privately by his wife and his daughters. A part of this private collection was donated to his hometown, Gokasyo-Cho in Shiga prefecture in 1994, and they are going to be exhibited in the public hall named "Tenbin-no-sato-bunka-gakushu-center" which celebrated its opening in November 1995.

Works & Materials
From his album