Born in Kobe, he was the son of the painter Hashimoto Kaikan, from whom he gained a love of Chinese culture. He studied at Chikujokai, a private school established by the famous nihonga painter Takeuchi Seihō (1864–1942), but eventually withdrew due to differences of opinion. He visited Europe in 1921 and after that spent part of almost every year in China. Many of his paintings were inspired by Chinese scenery or Chinese classical literature. His former residence in Kyoto is now a museum of his work called the Hakusasonso (白沙村荘), or Hashimoto Kansetsu Memorial House.
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