The artist Nakagawa Kazumasa was born in Hongo, Tokyo in 1893 (the 26th year of the Meiji period). As a young man, he published his works of poetry and prose in newspapers and literary magazines, and showed his talent for literature. However, he became fascinated by the paintings of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne, which he discovered while reading an edition of Shirakaba, a literary magazine that he loved to read, and soon began painting. His first work, Sakagura(English title:A store house of Japanese rice wine), was painted in 1914, and was accepted for the Tatsumigakai Exhibition, a gateway to success for budding painters in those days. A year later, his second work, Shimonotokerumichi(English title:Frost thawing on the road), won second prize at the Exhibition and this encouraged him to make a career as a painter.

Nakagawa then joined Soudosha in 1915, an artist association organized by the Tastumigakai Exhibition judge Ryusei Kishida, and developed his talent further by encouraging each other. In 1922, Nakagawa helped form the Shunyokai, a joint association of Soudosha and the old Western painting section of the Japan Art Institute, and contributed to the prosperity of the association as a leading painter.

Nakagawa later built a studio in Manazuru, Kanagawa in 1949, where he had spent 20 years painting a landscape of the fishing village called Fukuura in the Manazuru peninsula. Around this time, he also painted landscapes of the Seto Inland Sea, Sakurajima in Kagoshima, as well as landscapes in Nagasaki, France, and Spain.In his later years, he changed his subject to the mountains of Hakone, and painted several magnificent views of Hakone’s Mt. Komagatake. One of his most famous paintings of Mt. Komagatake was painted just before he turned 90 years old. It is a dynamic work in the later Nakagawa style, sized at 162.1 by 130.3 cm.

In 1975, Nakagawa received the Order of Culture award for contributing to the Japanese art world as a leading painter for his entire career.
He spent most of his final years in his studio creating still-life paintings, including several of roses and sunflowers. These still-life paintings, along with his other works, have continued to attract painting-lovers for decades.

In his life time, Nakagawa tried many different art forms and did not limit himself only to oil painting. Some of his other best-known works include Suibokugansai, calligraphy, and ceramics. The artist Nakagawa Kazumasa expresses distinct originality in his paintings, such as daring brush work, vivid colour contrast, and a grand picture structure. These attributes of his work were established by adopting the deep spirit of the oriental art, and by believing in his own subjective representation.

1893Born in Hongo, Tokyo.
190714 years oldEnters Kinjo Junior High School in Kanda.
191017 years oldHis Tanka, a traditional Japanese poem, appears in poetry magazine called Sousaku edited by Wakayama Bokusui.
191118 years oldHis short story, Shiinoki is selected for newspaper called Yorozuchouhou.
191320 years oldPublishes his Tanka in literary magazine called Waseda Bungaku.
191421 years oldHis first painting, A storehouse of Japanese rice wine, is accepted for the 14th Tatsumigakai Exhibition.
191522 years oldSends three paintings, Frost thawing on the road, Side of Prison, and Shojoshozo to the Tatsumigakai Exhibition; His second painting, Shimonotokerumichi wins second prize; Joins Soudosha organized by Ryusei Kishida.
192229 years old Helps form Shunyokai and joins the association the following next year.
192532 years oldPublishes the translation Gogh with ARS.
192633 years oldPublishes a collection of paintings from Aterier Publishing Company.
193340 years oldDraws illustrations for Jinsei Gekijo Seishun Edition written by Ozaki Shiro in Miyako Shinbun.
193845 years oldDraws illustrations for Ishida Mitsunari written by Ozaki Shiro in the evening edition of Miyako Shinbun.
194350 years oldHolds the Ishi Tsuruzo and Nakagawa Kazumasa Suibokuga Exhibition at Murin-an in Kyoto.
194956 years oldBuilt a studio in Manazuru, Kanagawa; he is fascinated by a landscape of Fukuura.
195360 years oldTravels to New York via Brazil; a year later, travels around the cities in France, Britain, and Italy
196067 years oldHolds a the joint exhibition at Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi with Nagayo Yoshiro, Mushanokouji Saneatsu, and Umehara Ryuzaburo; his work, Gyosongaifu is offered to Crown Prince’s Place through the Association of Prefectural Governors.
196168 years oldOffers poetry (Titled Waka) for Utakai Hajime (first poetry reading convened by the Emperor of Japan).
196471 years oldVisits China as a member of Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association.
196774 years oldDraws illustrations for a novel Tennonoseiki written by Osaragi Jiro. Begins to paint landscapes of Haone.
197582 years oldVisits China as an honorary leader of Japanese Artists Party for Japan-China Cultural Exchange; receives the Order of Culture; starts writing for Watashi no rirekisho in Japan Economic Times.
198693 years oldPublishes Nakagawa Kazumasa Collection (ten-volume) from Chuokoron Publishing Company; Nakagawa Kazumasa Memorial Museum opens in Hakusan, Ishikawa, his mother’s hometown.
198996 years oldNakagawa Kazumasa Art Museum opens in Manazuru, Kanagawa (Established by Manazuru City).
199097 years oldHolds the Modern Japanese Painters Exhibition with Okumura Togyu at Carnavalet Museum in Paris, France.
1991Dies of heart failure at Yugawara Koseinenkin Hospital.