His parents were vassals of the samurai Nabeshima clan. He attended a school that taught western-style painting, under the tutelage of Soyama Yukihiko (, 1860–1892). In 1891, he became a member of the "Meiji Bijutsu-kai" (Fine Arts Society) and, after Soyamas premature death, worked with Horie Masaaki (, 1852–1932), completing his studies in 1893.
That same year, he came under the influence of Kuroda Seiki (} and Kume Keiichiro (), who had just returned from France. They introduced him the Barbizon school and the concept of plein-air painting. In 1896, he became an Assistant Professor of Yga art at the Tky Bijutsu Gakk. He was also one of the founding members of "Hakuba-kai" (White Horse Society); a loosely organized artists association, supposedly named after their favorite type of sake.