Hosono Masnobu et al., Kindai no bijinga: Meguro Gajoen korekushon/Paintings of Japanese Beauties at the Turn of the Century (Kyoto: Kyoto shoin, 1988), pl. 498.
Toei 13, no. 10 (1937), frontispiece.
Catalogue of 9th Seiryusha exhibiton (Tokyo: Seiryusha, 1937).
This painting from the now-defunct Meguro Gajoen Museum, a collection formed before World War II by Tokyo industrialist Hosokawa Rikizo, embodies the expansive optimism of the culture of interwar Japan. Three women enjoying a hike on a spring day have stopped to rest high on a hillside among flowering azalea bushes. Using a traditional format, the folding screen, the artist celebrates the self-assured and chic "modern girl." These fashionable young women are self-absored but the soft, "feminine" painting style contributes to their seductive appeal. Fumie's brushwork has the loose, painterly quality of a watercolor.
Fumie, a Tokyo native, attended Tokyo Girls' Art School and graduated from the Fine Arts division of Bunka Gakuen in 1934. She studied with the renowned Nihonga painter Kawabata Ryushi (1885-1966) and was one of only a very few women who exhibited with his group, the Blue Dragon Society (Seiryusha). This pair of screens was shown in the society's 1937 exhibition in Tokyo when she was only twenty-seven.