Josetsu (如拙)

Josetsu (the years of his birth and death was unknown) was an artist-monk from the period of the Northern and Southern Courts to the middle of the Muromachi period. His dogo (a pseudonym as a priest) was Taiko.
It is believed that Chushin ZEKKAI named him after remark of 'Lao-tzu' saying 'Being too skillful is nothing more than being unskillful.'

Although his biography is not so clear, the fact that he engaged in the construction of Soseki MUSO's monument and drew 'Hyonen-zu' (painting of catching Japanese catfish with bottle gourd) from 1384 to 1429 at the behest of Yoshimochi ASHIKAGA, 4th shogun of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), is widely known and it is almost certain that he had a close relation with the Ashikaga Shogun family and was a monk of Shokoku-ji Temple. He was revered by Sesshu, an artist-monk of Shokoku-ji Temple, as a founder and was admitted by the Kano School as the founder of Chinese style painting in Japan.

Works of Art
Hyonen zu (Taizoin, Kyoto City) : national treasure
O Gishi Shosen zu (O Gishi writing a script on a fan) (Kyoto National Museum) : important cultural property

[Original Japanese]