Hōchū was born in Kyoto during the late Edo Period and is known as a Rinpa artist who was active in the Osaka area. In the beginning of his career, Hōchū formed a close friendship with literati groups in Osaka and produced numbers of landscape paintings in the literati style (bunjinga).
He was also known as a master of shitōga, or paintings drawn with utensils other than brushes, such as fingers. Inspired by Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716), who had been drawing people’s attention as a free-spirited painter at that time period, Hōchū created many flowers and birds paintings using tarashikomi, or dripping technique, which was a specialty of the Rinpa School, and became favored widely as a Kōrin-styled painter. Meanwhile, Hōchū had loved and practiced haiku poetry throughout his life, and engaged in production of many haiku paintings and illustrations for haiku books while having frequent interactions with a lot of haiku poets.