Shunsho (1726 - 1792 )

Shunsho Katsukawa was one of the great masters of ukiyo-e. As founder of the Katsukawa School, he was a pivotal print artist, accomplished painter, and influential teacher. Born in 1726, little is known about Shunsho’s personal life. He came to Edo to study haiku, poetry, and painting under Shunsui Miyagawa. It is thought that Shunsho began to design actor prints (yakusha-e) around 1768. In these prints, he turned away from the idealized figures of the Torii School in favor of recognizable subjects. From subtle facial features to characteristic expressions, Shunsho brought theatrical stars to life through realistic portraiture. As he focused on the individual actor rather than the role portrayed, Shunsho marked a distinct shift in the actor print genre. From his hosoban actor portraits to his illustrated books, Shunsho introduced individualism to yakusha-e. This legacy flourished under talented students such as Shuncho, Shunko, Shunei, and Shunro (aka Hokusai).

Shunsho’s success reached beyond yakusha-e. He explored other ukiyo-e genres, producing many shunga albums, illustrated books, warrior prints, and images of sumo wrestlers throughout his career. He was also highly successful in the field of bijin-ga, or “pictures of beautiful women,” and devoted his later years to painting for elite patrons. Shunsho Katsukawa’s early prints are not signed. Instead, they are sealed with the character “hayashi” enclosed within the shape of a bronze jar (tsubo). This seal belonged to Shichiemon Hayashiya, the publisher with whom Shunsho lived with for a time.

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The Lady Sanuki

Shunsho

The Lady Sanuki

JP1140

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Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Shoemon

Shunsho

Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Shoemon

JP1408

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Fujiwara no Sanekata

Shunsho

Fujiwara no Sanekata

JP-95980

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Gon Chunagon Sadayori

Shunsho

Gon Chunagon Sadayori

JP-95976

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Prince Kentoku

Shunsho

Prince Kentoku

JP-95970

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Tadamichi

Shunsho

Tadamichi

JP-95968

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Minamoto no Hitoshi

Shunsho

Minamoto no Hitoshi

JP-95956

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Abe no Nakamaro

Shunsho

Abe no Nakamaro

JP-95940

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Kiyohara no Fukayabu

Shunsho

Kiyohara no Fukayabu

JP-95938

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The Former Archbishop Jien

Shunsho

The Former Archbishop Jien

JP-95936

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Funya no Yasuhide

Shunsho

Funya no Yasuhide

JP-95934

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Sakyo-dayu Michimasa

Shunsho

Sakyo-dayu Michimasa

JP-95932

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Minamoto no Shigeyuki

Shunsho

Minamoto no Shigeyuki

JP-95930

$420.00
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Dainagon Kinto

Shunsho

Dainagon Kinto

JP-95924

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The Lady Ukon

Shunsho

The Lady Ukon

JP2009

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The Lady Ise no Osuke

Shunsho

The Lady Ise no Osuke

JP1123

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Kanesuke

Shunsho

Kanesuke

JP-95986

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The Lady Kii

Shunsho

The Lady Kii

JP-95974

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The Emperor Koko

Shunsho

The Emperor Koko

JP1136

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Kiyohara no Motosuke

Shunsho

Kiyohara no Motosuke

JP-95954

$290.00
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Kabuki Actor Nakamura Dengoro

Shunsho

Kabuki Actor Nakamura Dengoro

JP1415

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Ki no Tomonori

Shunsho

Ki no Tomonori

JP1134

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Nakamura Nakazo

Shunsho

Nakamura Nakazo

JP1441

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The Priest Ryosen

Shunsho

The Priest Ryosen

JP-95928

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