Torii Kotondo (1900-1976)

Kotondo also used the names Kiyonobu and Kiyotada. He was the only son of Kiyotada IV, an artist of the Torii school. Although originally interested in history and archeology, it was planned that he succeed his Father. He left high school at 15 years and began illustrating for a theatrical magazine.

He first studied under a master of yamato-e painting learning japanese history and court painting. His next master specialized in bijin-ga (paintings and prints of beautiful women) and kabuki. Just before and after the 1923 earthquake he created several paintings of bijin-ga under the name Masahiko. He only used Kotondo for his bijin-ga from 1926-29.

When he succeeded his father and became the eighth heir to the school in 1929 he changed his name to Kiyonobu. He wanted to pay respect to the first master by not using the same character combination for his name. His final name change was to Kiyotada V in 1954.

Abstracted from comments by Torii Kiyomitsu (Kotondo’s daughter), June, 1995

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