(b Edogawa [now a district of Tokyo], 27 Nov. 1886; d Zurich, 29 Jan. 1968).
Japanese-French painter and graphic artist. He moved to Paris in 1913 and spent most of the rest of his life in the city, with the exception of a long interlude, 1933–50, when he returned to Japan. In the 1920s he developed a distinctive style of delicately mannered Expressionism, combining Western and Japanese traits, and he became recognized as a leading figure of the group of emigrés who made up the École de Paris—the only Japanese artist of his time to earn a considerable reputation in Europe. Characteristic works in his prolific output include landscapes, portraits, nudes, pictures of cats (once very popular in reproduction), and compositions in which still life and figures are combined. In 1959 he converted to Roman Catholicism and adopted the forename Léonard in recognition of his admiration for Leonardo da Vinci. From this time he began painting religious subjects, and in his later career he tended to lapse into sentimentality.