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Born in Hongo in Edo, Toyokuni II began his career as a pottery dealer. He was a pupil and son-in-law of Toyokuni I and assumed his teachers name after Toyokuni I's death in 1825. As other pupils vied for the name "Toyokuni II," Toyokuni II began to sign his prints Toyoshige, but after a year used the go Toyokuni or Gosotei Toyokuni, becoming the Hongo Toyokuni. In later years he returned to the go Toyoshige. Toyokuni II largely chose to portray actors and bijin, or beautiful women, but also designed landscape prints and book illustrations.