Matabei Iwasa


Here are the points how great Matabei is!

Matabei, his gorgeous illustrated handscroll paintings dazzle viewers

Matabei Iwasa is the painter whose active career was in the beginnings of Edo and he is known as
Ukiyo Matabei.

According to his book called “Tsuiko Ukiyo-e ruikou”, there is the description tells Matabei
learned paintings from Kanō Naizen but there is no proof for that.

The characteristics of his touch including such many mysteries is outstanding in terms of
sublimation by his own way of mixing of Japanese and the Western styles, using his familiarities
with all kinds of paintings such as Yamato-e paintings, Chinese paintings during the Han Dynasty
period, figures and animals paintings.

Gorgeous illustrated handscroll pieces of paintings such as “The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa”, “The
Tale of Jōruri”, “The Scroll of Oguri Hangan”,”The Tale of Horie” are famous and his
representative works.

His expressions of dynamic ways by Ushiwaka, main character, full great descriptions of natures
and public morals are excellent on the “The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa”. On the other hand, his
descriptions of bloody battles are very realistic including the details. The total length of the
paintings is 150 meters and just amazing. In the addition, his another expressions by using dynamic
ways of color of red in the scene of the encounter of 2 people, Ushiwaka and Jōruri, are vivid
and one of the gorgeous and bright works of his entire works.

His works are always enormous length. Therefore, the research of his works was very tough for a
long time because some illustrated handscroll paintings included mixed different touches of
writers and painters. Those his enormous length of works are done by himself and his pupils and
now this understanding of his works is mainstream. His pieces of works expressed classical
subjects using dynamic and precise ways of his own styles and dazzle viewers over the period of

Article: Vivian