Michael (mukashi_banashi) wrote in little_details,

Japanese painters (edit: and also woodcutters)

I'm writing a short story set in early to mid 1700s, in a remote Japanese village in the Chuubu region.

What I need to know is this: historically, what class(es) did Japanese painters come from? A lot of them seem to have been priests as well, and I think some of them were from the military and merchant classes, right? But is there ever any instance where a high-ranking peasant (maybe a second son of a village headman) became a painter (regardless of success level, actually the less successful the better, in terms of my story)?

Or, a second question: did high-ranking members of the peasant class (such as the example given above) ever dabble at painting, studying the works of masters, etc.?

EDIT: ...Also, completely unrelated question, but: Were woodcutters also in the peasant class? Were the separate from farmers, or within the categorization of farmers?

Thanks so much!
Tags: 1700-1709, 1710-1719, 1720-1729, 1730-1739, 1740-1749, 1750-1759, japan: history

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