Ono Tsūjo, a pioneer of Japanese art in the early Edo period

Ono Tsūjo was the attendant to the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and a famous painter and calligrapher. She particularly excelled in the nyohitsu (woman’s brush) technique, a style created by nobles in the Heian period and popularised during the seventeenth century, which was a type of fluid yet refined calligraphy. Her chosen method was ink, and she specialised in portraits of figures produced alongside classical poetry. This combination of imagery alongside writing is characteristic of Edo period artworks, meaning Tsūjo was one of the first prominent female artists of the time to emulate this style.