Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861 )

The son of silk dyer, Kuniyoshi Utagawa was born into the Igusa family in Edo. Little is known about his very early years, though he is said to have shown remarkable talent from a young age. Kuniyoshi began his ukiyo-e career as a pupil of Shunei. At age 14 he was accepted to study the art of woodblock printing under Toyokuni I and, in time, would become one of his most successful students. In 1814, he left Toyokuni’s studio to pursue a career as an independent ukiyo-e artist. Initially, he had little success, selling tatami mats in order to support himself. However, his fortunes changed in 1827 with his dramatic series 108 Heroes of the Suikoden. From that point forward, the public hungered for his portrayals of famous samurai and legendary heroes. Kuniyoshi Utagawa worked across all genres, producing some brilliant landscapes and charming bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women). He died in the spring of 1861 from complications of a stroke.

 

In direct contrast to the peaceful views of a scenic Japan provided by Hiroshige and Hokusai, the following decades saw a rise of the fierce, fearsome and fantastical in ukiyo-e. Kuniyoshi welcomed this changing public taste. He had a ravenous imagination and the full scope of his work reveals an aesthetic sensibility capable of capturing almost any experience. No doubt, however, his particular genius felt most at home in the world of martial glory, where epic battles decided the fate of empires and fierce warriors clashed to the death. Kuniyoshi's prints were so popular in his time that he received requests for tattoo designs.

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The Battle at the Eastern Temple, Rokuhara

Kuniyoshi

The Battle at the Eastern Temple, Rokuhara

JPR-209044

$1,800.00
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Shushiki

Kuniyoshi

Shushiki

JP00103

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Gomo (Wu Meng)

Kuniyoshi

Gomo (Wu Meng)

JPR1-66140

$350.00
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Kakkyo (Guo Ju)

Kuniyoshi

Kakkyo (Guo Ju)

JP5015

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Kakko (Guo Ju)

Kuniyoshi

Kakko (Guo Ju)

JP5018

$450.00
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The Last Stand of the Kusunoki Clan at Shijo Nawate

Kuniyoshi

The Last Stand of the Kusunoki Clan at Shijo Nawate

JP-209672

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Raiko Severing the Head of the Shutendoji at Mt. Oe

Kuniyoshi

Raiko Severing the Head of the Shutendoji at Mt. Oe

JPR-209045

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Courtesan Nanaoka of the Sugata-ebi House, 1 Chome, Kyomachi

Kuniyoshi

Courtesan Nanaoka of the Sugata-ebi House, 1 Chome, Kyomachi

JP-208574

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Warabi: Inuyama Dosetsu Seated Amid Flames with Magic Pine in His Mouth

Kuniyoshi

Warabi: Inuyama Dosetsu Seated Amid Flames with Magic Pine in His Mouth

JPR1-66174

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Yokkaichi

Kuniyoshi

Yokkaichi

JP1-17164

$1,600.00
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Portrait of Daruma by Kabuki Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV

Kuniyoshi

Portrait of Daruma by Kabuki Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV

JP1-63137

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Poem by the Priest Noin

Kuniyoshi

Poem by the Priest Noin

JP2565

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Characters of The Tale of the Soga Brothers in the Guise of the Seven Lucky Gods

Kuniyoshi

Characters of The Tale of the Soga Brothers in the Guise of the Seven Lucky Gods

JP-209826

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Kabuki Actor Nakamura Shikan II as Shiratayu in Farewell Perfomance in the 9th Month of 1833

Kuniyoshi

Kabuki Actor Nakamura Shikan II as Shiratayu in Farewell Perfomance in the 9th Month of 1833

JP-209821

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Kabuki Actor Sawamura Sojuro V as Yoemon

Kuniyoshi

Kabuki Actor Sawamura Sojuro V as Yoemon

JP-209803

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Kabuki Actor Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Doguya Jinzo

Kuniyoshi

Kabuki Actor Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Doguya Jinzo

JP-209775

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Woman with Fan

Kuniyoshi

Woman with Fan

JP-209786

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Poem by Mibu no Tadami: Hasebe Nobutsura

Kuniyoshi

Poem by Mibu no Tadami: Hasebe Nobutsura

JP-209774

$500.00
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Hara Goemon Motooki

Kuniyoshi

Hara Goemon Motooki

JPR-209559

$500.00
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Du Qian, the Sky Toucher (Mochakuten Tosen)

Kuniyoshi

Du Qian, the Sky Toucher (Mochakuten Tosen)

JPR-209553

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Hua Rong (Shoriko Kaei)

Kuniyoshi

Hua Rong (Shoriko Kaei)

JPR-209552

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Taira Masakado Expels Rokuro Kintsura from the Court

Kuniyoshi

Taira Masakado Expels Rokuro Kintsura from the Court

JP-110534

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Sasai Ukon Masanao

Kuniyoshi

Sasai Ukon Masanao

JPR-209551

$1,200.00
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Hida Magobei Masatoshi

Kuniyoshi

Hida Magobei Masatoshi

JPR-209550

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