Gyokudo went to Kyoto and studied under Gyokusen Mochizuki. He soon became a pupil of Bairei Kono and acquired the techniques of the Maruyama-Shijo school. Following his teacher’s death, Gyokudo moved to Tokyo and studied painting of the Kano school under Gaho Hashimoto. Blending the artistic styles of the two schools, he realistically portrayed landscapes full of poetic sentiment woven by nature. In 1940, he was awarded the Order of Culture.
Gyokudo Kawai first acquired the art of flexible brushwork without painting contours in Kyoto. However, after learning the strict line drawing of the Kano school under Gaho Hashimoto, he concentrated on placing emphasis on the lines. This painting dates from the transitional period when he broke away from the painting techniques of his Kyoto period and began to adopt the Kano school style of depicting the contours in sumi. From around this time, Gyokudo experimented with various traditional Japanese techniques and continued to pursue the issue of coloring and lines. The subjects he chose were often life in mountain villages or rural districts reflecting the warmth of the Japanese mentality, which he portrayed in a relaxed, cool manner. In this painting, an everyday scene of children chasing the cows up the path on a spring day in a rustic mountain village is captured in a sublime scale.