Tag Archives: Toyokuni III

Kuni, Kuni, Kuni – Three Japanese Woodblock Artists of Decadence

Kunichika, Nakamura Shikan IV as Daihachi and Onoe Kikugoro V as Tatsugoro, 1890 The prefix ‘Kuni’ started life as the suffix ‘kuni’ in the name Toyokuni. The artist who created the catchy brand name Toyokuni I, was the successful woodblock … Continue reading

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Portraits in Series in Japanese Prints

Kunisada, Both Sides of the Leaf, Past and Present, 1855 Anyone starting out collecting Japanese prints will be struck by the prevalence of enigmatic portraits, three-quarter length images of actors, usually in role and set against either a landscape background … Continue reading

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The Utagawa Lineage in Japanese Prints

A Basic ‘Family Tree’ of the Utagawa School. The picture above is an over simplified ‘family tree’ of the principal individuals in the Utagawa School of Japanese woodblock print artists. Toshidama Gallery has a significant online presence and we are … Continue reading

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Ukiyo-e Artists of the Decadence at Toshidama Gallery

Hirosada, A Mirror of the Osaka Summer Festival, 1850 moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury So runs the standard definition of decadence: a moral and cultural decline. It is a word habitually used … Continue reading

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Reassessing Kunisada

Kunisada, Actors in Mirrors 1832 Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) known in his lifetime as Toyokuni II and in our time as Toyokuni III, remains one of the least appreciated artists of nineteenth century Japan. What follows here is not an academic … Continue reading

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Kunisada and Kunichika – Two Men of the Stage

Kunichika, The Gang of Five Coming Home like Wild Ducks What do most people know of kabuki? In the west, almost nothing. Modern kabuki occupies perhaps the same status as modern poetry in England: specialist and largely irrelevant. By looking … Continue reading

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How Come All These Japanese Prints Look The Same?

Kuniyoshi, Hanbei 1840 Kunisada, Hanbei 1840  We’re showing nine prints on this page, all of which seem to share something in common. In some of them the full height, man walking seems to be almost the same; in others a … Continue reading

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Nigao – True Likeness in Japanese Prints

How important is a likeness in a work of art? Maybe not as important as it seems; elsewhere on this site we’ve looked at how potentially disastrous it would be to use Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road as … Continue reading

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Bathers and Echoes in Japanese Prints and Beyond

As regular readers will know, reference, allusion and quotation are an embedded part of Japanese visual culture. Indeed, the Chazen Museum of Art, Wisconsin recently put on a blockbuster show on this very theme, Competition and Collaboration: Japanese Prints of … Continue reading

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Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III (1786-1865)  Fight on Benkei’s Bridge, 1860

There’s a lot of history and myth making to catch up with in this very fine print. First of all, what is it… what’s going on… how do we find out more? Well, what we can see is two strong … Continue reading

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