Biography Uemura, Shoen (1875 - 1949)
Shoen Uemura was born in Kyoto on April 23, 1875. Her real name was Tsune Uemura. She had a strong interest in "Bijinga" drawings (images portraying the beauty of women) over her entire lifetime, which spanned the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras. She studied at Kyoto Prefectural Art School under several traditional Japanese painters, including Suzuki Shonen, Kono Bairei and Takeuchi Seiho. At the age of 15, she entered "Shiki Bijinga " in Naikoku Kangyo Hakurankai (Domestic Industrial Exposition) and won a prize. With this as a start, she successively exhibited works in various expositions, such as the Nihon Bijutsu Kyokai (Japanese Art Association) and the Japan Youth Painting Fair. She became a household name when she was granted the third prize for "Nagayo" in the 1st Bunten Exhibition of 1907 and for "Tsukikage " in the 2nd Exhibition the next year. In the 9th Bunten Exhibition of 1915, she also won the second prize for "Hana-gatami", and finally she was recommended as a permanent exhibitor the next year. Subsequently, as a member of the Teiten Exhibition (Japan Imperial Exhibition), an advisor to the Teiten Exhibition and a member of Teikoku Bijutsuin (the Japan Imperial Academy of Art), she made a major contribution to the Modern Painting Academy of Japan. In 1948, she was the first woman to be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit. On August 27 of the next year, she passed away at her mountain cottage in Heijo Village, Nara Prefecture.
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