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Born in Edo as Hidehisa Takenouchi in 1848, Kunisada III was a Meiji period (1868-1912) artist best known for his actor prints. Kunisada III became the student of Toyokuni III at age of eleven. Following the death of his teacher, Kunisada III continued his career under the tutelage of Kunisada II. While he excelled in the field of yakusha-e, or “actor prints,” Kunisada III worked on book illustrations, game boards (e-sugoroku) and in other popular Meiji period genres such as senso-e (war prints), kaika-e (modernization pictures) as well. He received the name Kunisada III in 1889, but used many different go, or “artist names,” throughout his career. He used Kunimasa IV and Baido Hosai early in his career, followed later by Kochoro, Kunimasa, and Hosai. Late in his life he tried to use Toyokuni IV, but, as it was already claimed, he went by Toyokuni V. Kunisada III’s eldest son followed in his father’s professional footsteps as the printmaker Utagawa Kokunimasa.
"To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage." - Georgia O'Keeffe