A Japanese-style painter. The son of a painter. In 1847 he started to study painting under Kano Shosenin Tadanobu and one of his fellow students was Kano Hogai. After parting from Shosenin, he served as a map maker at the Naval Academy starting in 1871. In 1882 he was awarded the prize at the first Naikoku Kyoshin-kai art exhibition and helped Okakura Tenshin and Ernest Fenollosa to establish Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko (currently, the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music), of which he became a professor in 1889. In 1890 Hakuun Koujyu (White Clouds and Red Trees) won the first prize at the 3rd National Industrial Exhibition and he was appointed as an Imperial Household Artist. In 1898, upon the establishment of the Japan Fine Arts Academy, he was named president. In 1900 the work he presented at the Paris World Expo, Ryuko-zu (Dragon and Tiger), won the silver prize. Along with Hogai, he helped modernize Japanese-style painting. He also taught many artists including Yokoyama Taikan and Shimomura Kanzan.