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Both an ukiyo-e designer and an illustrator, Shunsen began his career using the name Shunrin. First the student Tsutsumi Torin III, Shunsen soon became the pupil of Katsukawa Shun'ei and adopted the name Katsukawa. It was not until 1806 that he began signing his work Shunsen. He is recognized for his elegant bijin (beautiful women), landscapes and genre scenes. Shunsen ended his printmaking career in 1823 and pursued porcelain decoration as Shunko II.