particular artist, Kunichika, was born in 1835.
As a serious student of Kunisada and Chikanobu, he
took a part of each of his master’s names to create his
own unique name, although his full name is Toyohara
just outside Tokyo, this artist’s name was originally
Yasohachi Oshima. As
early as the age of 11, Kunichika took an interest in
Chikanobu, the Ukiyo-e master.
Then by 13, Kunichika was allowed to begin an
young, he soon started a name with a number of favorites
although his most prized subjects were that of historical
scenes, as well as Kabuki actors.
In 1863, Kunichika created an amazing portrait of
depiction was of a man with a very, thin fact, baldhead, and
long nose. One year later, Kunisada passed away, a time when
Kunichika’s portrait became popular.
Although he is considered one of the most talented of
all Ukiyo-e masters, history tells us that this artist was
rather odd, an artist with a Bohemian type style.
At the age of 26, Kunichika was married.
Soon to follow was a beautiful daughter named Hana.
Interestingly, history is somewhat controversial on
what happened next, some saying that he left her and others
saying she left him. Regardless,
what we do know is that Kunichika was fond of the women,
having numerous companions.
Kunichika was also bored easily, which is why it is
believed he moved more than 100 times in his lifetime.
The one thing you cannot take away from Kunichika is
personality, almost to a point of being a show off.
We do know that this artist had a strong interest in
drinking and visiting the local brothels. However, Kunichika was also an amazing artist with a real
passion for the Japanese theater, also known as Kabuki. Many times, he would make his way backstage during
performances so he could spend time sketching various
In addition to his actor prints, Kunichika was an
amazing artist, capturing historic scenes and gorgeous
women. While he
had many highlights during his life, he was given special
credit by a Tokyo newspaper in 1865, 1867, and 1885.
We also know that his work was highly respected
although he was never given the recognition that he so
wanted by his master Kunisada.
His designs were relatively easy to spot, usually
designed with rich red and deep purple, often as the
background of his prints.
These colors were created with aniline dyes imported
Today, you can still find Kunichika prints, which
cost anywhere from $10 to $600 or more.
One of the benefits to this artist’s creations is
that the dye used does not fade.
Therefore, even the prints you would find in
“good” condition would be exceptional and bright.
The only drawback is that this type of dye can bleed.
Therefore, it is recommended that you look carefully
at any Kunichika prints or designs to ensure there is no to
few flaws. Although
Kunichika died in 1900, he left behind many exceptional
pieces to include a series of prints based on the Tale of