Taikan’s childhood name was Hidezo and he later changed his name to Hidemaro. He entered Tokyo School of Fine Arts, which was newly established in 1889, and studied under Tenshin Okakura and Gaho Hashimoto. In 1896, he became assistant professor at his alma mater, but retired in 1898 following Tenshin’s resignation. Together with Kanzan Shimomura, Shunso Hishida, and others, he took part in the foundation of Nihon Bijutsuin and aimed at creating a new nihonga. After Tenshin’s death, in 1914, he reestablished the Saiko Inten and led the nihonga circles of the Taisho and Showa periods by presenting numerous noble-minded masterworks.
Even to Taikan, who painted numerous masterworks, 1940 was a special year as it marked the celebration of the 2600 th year after the accession of Emperor Jinmu and the 50th anniversary of his own artistic career. As a celebration of the 2600th year and a service to the country as an artist, he devoted himself to working on twenty paintings, ten related to the mountains and ten to the sea. He held an exhibition to commemorate the celebration and heroically contributed the entire proceeds to the Departments of the Army and the Navy. Both ministries responded to Taikan’s patriotic intention by naming two planes at each ministry Taikan-go. That year, whether conscious of Japan as a maritime nation, Taikan did many pictures of the sea. “Fishing village at dawn” was the subject chosen for the New Year’s Imperial Poetry Contest to be held the following spring and Taikan repeatedly painted the calm sea at daybreak including pictures associated with this subject. One of these works was presented to Prince and Princess Chichibu. This scroll characterized by its vertical composition was also one of this series and reaches a high degree of perfection.