In 1928, Fujishima was commissioned to create an oil painting to decorate the Showa Emperor's study. Fujishima himself decided that "sunrise" would be the theme for that work, in celebration of the emperor's accession. From then on, he traveled from Zao in the north of Honshu to the Japanese colony of Taiwan in the south in search of sunrises, from the sun rising over the sea to the sun rising over mountain massifs. He spent a decade exploring that theme until he brought it to completion with Rising Sun Illuminating the Cosmos, in which his subject matter was the sun he saw in the desert of Inner Mongolia. During that period, he produced many "sunrise" masterworks, of which this example, painted in 1932, is one. Apart from the sailboat, it consists only of sea and sky. The composition is simply organized of extremely simple, clear color planes; in it we see epitomized the simplicity that was Fujishima"s objective.


  • Title: Sunrise over the Eastern Sea
  • Creator: FUJISHIMA Takeji
  • Creator Lifespan: 1867/1943
  • Creator Nationality: Japanese
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Date Created: 1932
  • Technique: Oil
  • Physical Dimensions: w909 x h652 cm
  • Object Title: 東海旭光
  • Artist Name: 藤島武二
  • Medium: canvas

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