Sesshū Tōyō was the most prominent Japanese master of ink and wash painting from the middle Muromachi period. He was born into the samurai Oda family, before being brought up and educated to become a Rinzai Zen Buddhist priest. However, early in life he displayed a talent for visual arts, and eventually became one of the greatest Japanese artists of his time, widely revered throughout Japan.
Sesshū studied under Tenshō Shūbun and was influenced by Chinese Song dynasty landscape painting. In 1468–69, he undertook a voyage to Ming China, where he was recognized as an outstanding painter. Upon returning to Japan, Sesshū built himself a studio and established a large following, painters that are now referred to as the Unkoku-rin school—or "School of Sesshū". Although many paintings survive that bear Sesshū's signature or seal, only a few can be securely attributed to him. His best-known work is the so-called "Long Landscape Scroll".