Wada Eisaku (23 December 1874 – 3 January 1959) was a Japanese painter and luminary of the yōga (or Western-style) scene in the late Meiji, Taishō, and Shōwa eras. He was a member of the Japan Art Academy, an Imperial Household Artist, a recipient of the Order of the Sacred Treasure and Order of Culture, an Officier in the Légion d’honneur, and a Person of Cultural Merit.
Born in what is now the city of Tarumizu, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, in 1874, little Eisaku moved to Azabu in Tokyo with his family at the age of four or five when his father Wada Shūhō, a pastor, was appointed as an instructor in English at the Naval Academy. In 1887 the young Wada entered the Protestant Meiji Gakuin; among his classmates was fellow yōga painter Miyake Kokki, while author Tōson Shimazaki was in one of the years above. After learning the rudiments of Western-style painting from Uesugi Kumatsu, with his introduction, dropping out of Meiji Gakuin in 1891, he studied alongside Miyake and Nakazawa Hiromitsu under Soyama Sachihiko at his Daikōkan painting school. After his death in 1892, Wada studied alongside Miyake at Harada Naojirō’s Shōbikan; the same year his work featured at the 4th Meiji Bijutsu-kai Exhibition, and again at the 5th in 1893. In 1893 he also studied Nihonga, under Kubota Beisen. After Harada’s painting school closed in 1894, Wada studied under Kuroda Seiki and Kume Keiichirō, on their return from Paris, at their newly established Tenshin Dōjō, where he became versed in pleinairism. Kuroda was not alone in being struck by his student’s precocious abilities: at the following year’s Fourth National Industrial Exhibition, his Early Summer Beside the Sea was awarded a “Virtuosity Prize” (similarly honoured were Kuroda (for his scandalizing Morning Toilette), Kume, and Asai Chū).