Kawai Gyokudô was a Japanese-style painter from the town of Kisogawa in Aichi Prefecture. He skillfully combined the styles of multiple schools and is known for landscape paintings that incorporate modern expressions of space. A particularly defining characteristic of his work is his richly emotive crafting of typically Japanese landscapes, together with the feel of daily life. Being well-grounded in literature, he is also known as a poet. Cormorant fishing is a method of fishing in which cormorants are used to catch ayu and other fish. In current times, it is often conducted as a tourist event in summer. It was especially memorable to Gyokudô, who spent his youth around the Nagara River of Gifu Prefecture, and is a motif in which he specialized. Various expressions of water can be seen in Gyokudô’s paintings. In this work, his ability is thoroughly exhibited in the expression of the waves, rich with the movement of the clear stream. The light of the bonfires is reflected on objects such as the river’s surface and the boats, enlivening the scene and making for a lively expression of movement.


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