E-shi Hirose KINzo (a painter, Hirose Kinzo) had a short name, so people called him Ekin (1812-1876). Once a prized painter at a young age, he was expelled by his his teachers and from his school for his counterfeitting, which he didn’t commit. He had to leave Edo (Tokyo), which was the center of art in Japan at that time. After a long journey, he settled in a small town named Akaoka in the Kochi Prefecture (then called Tosa), where he left many paintings. Every July the town holds an “Ekin Festival." His 23 two folds bybou are displayed in front of stores. People walk by and enjoy his paintings under candle light at night.
There are many Shibai-e (pictures of Kabuki Plays) of his, and his paintings (almost all hand-painted) are sometimes bloody and grotesque. This long-time forgotten artist, of immense energetic talent, can now be rediscovered.