Born in Tenpo 5 (1834) in Kyoto. Given name Shigemine, artist name Shuichi, Gyokkei,common name Shunzo. Together with his grandfather Gyokusen and father Gyokusen he carried on the Mochizuki school tradition. Learned painting from his father (Mochizuki Shigeteru) and later took his name.
Studied literature under Iwagaki Rokuzo. Under the sponsorship of the Kikutei family, he traveled widely in various provinces.
In Ansei 2 (1855) he produced a painting for the Emperor. In Meiji 11 together with Kono Bairei and others he presented a proposal for the establishment of an arts school in Kyoto and in Meiji 13 on the occasion of the establishment of the Kyoto Prefectural School of Arts he became an associate instructor but resigned soon after.
After teaching at a girlsı school and a school for the blind and mute, at the request of the printing department and the historical records department, he produced copies of the Shosoin treasures.
In Meiji 15 at the First National Paintings Fair (naikoku kaiga kyoshin kai), he received an award of merit for painting and in Meiji 17 at the Second National Paintings Fair he received the bronze award for his paintings "Deer in the Valley" and "Birds and Flowers." Further, in Meiji 23 at the Third National Industrial Promotion Expo his "Mountain Peaks and Moon" received the Third Prize for artistic skill, and in Meiji 28 at the Fourth National Industrial Promotion Expo his "Reeds and Geese in Snow" won the Second Prize.
In Meiji 22 at the Paris Worldıs Fair, he receive a bronze prize and in Meiji 26 at the Chicago Worldıs Fair, his "True View of Hozugawa" also received a prize.
In Meiji 37 he became an official artist to the emperor.
He brought a charming realism to the Mochizuki School that combined elements of the Kishi and Shijo schools and his paintings of reeds and geese were particularly well-received. He is also famous for works such as "Plovers at the Seaside" and "Eagle Raising Chicks." He was working in the Japanese manner but also considerably influenced by Western art.
Mochizuki Gyokkei was his heir and Kawai Gyokudo was his student.
He died in Taisho 2 (1913)
REFERENCE: Laurence P. Roberts, A Dictionary of Japanese Artists, Weatherhill Inc., Turmbull, 2000: 110.