Letter from Takeuchi Seiho to Sekiya Teizaburo


Presented here is a letter from the nihonga (traditional Japanese painting) artist Takeuchi Seiho (1864‒1942) to Sekiya Teizaburo (1875‒1950), who was Vice Minister of the Imperial Household, thanking him for an entertainment. Seiho writes humorously about the time when he saw a boy catch an octopus with his fishing rod while the painter was smoking in the shade at the foot of a cliff at Yoshihama. "The octopus, the boy and myself were all surprised.” Seiho had a reputation for being skilled at drawing animals, and the letter contains a simple but lively picture of the octopus on the fishing rod. Seiho traveled to Paris to the Exposition Universelle in 1900 and toured Europe, and his style combined Japanese and Western techniques. His work as an Imperial Household Artist may have led to his acquaintance with Sekiya Teizaburo. The latter became a member of the House of Peers and was the last privy councilor, appointed in 1946.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

竹内栖鳳書簡 関屋貞三郎宛

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 folio ; 4.6 x 9 centimeters


  1. “Sekiya, Teizaburo (1875‒1950,” in Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures, National Diet Library, Japan. http://www.ndl.go.jp/portrait/e/datas/478.html?cat=174.

Last updated: January 29, 2018