Tawaraya Sõtatsu was a commoner who introduced traditional Japanese themes and subjects, formerly the sole purview of the aristocracy, to broader audiences. He painted these nationalistic images using a bold, expressive new design style. This characteristic style was further developed and enhanced when he founded the historic Rinpa school with calligrapher Hon'ami Kõetsu; Rinpa works are marked by dramatic, stylized renderings of traditional Japanese themes.
Essays by leading scholars from the United States and Japan focus on Sõtatsu's well-known works; his collaboration with Kõetsu; his varied roles as shopkeeper, compiler, and court painter; and his influence over other artists, including Ogata Kõrin, Ogata Kenzan, Sakai Hõitsu, and Suzuki Kiitsu.
Sõtatsu also examines Freer Gallery of Art founder Charles Lang Freer's role in introducing Sõtatsu and Kõetsu to the Western world. Sõtatsu is a must-have book for museum-goers, art lovers, and scholars.