Utagawa Kunisada

Utagawa Kunisada - "Hanakawado no Sukeroku" Japanese Woodblock, Print First Printed in 1858



Woodblock Print


Japanese woodblock print of a man dressed in traditional attire with the cahonmage hair style that is from the Edo period. The texted in the top right corner reads, "Hanakowado no Sukeroku" which is a name of a famous Kabuki actor. The man is holding something wrapped in a piece of cloth and has a pipe sitting in front of him. The print is framed in a gold metal frame with a red and white matte.

Artist biography

Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) was the most popular, prolific and commercially successful designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 19th-century Japan. In his own time, his reputation far exceeded that of his contemporaries, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi. While growing up, he developed an early talent for painting and drawing. His early sketches at that time impressed Toyokuni, the great master of the Utagawa school and prominent designer of kabuki and actor-portrait prints. His first known print dates to the year 1807; however this seems to have been an exceptional design, and further full-sized prints appear starting only in 1809–1810. As of 1808 he had already begun work as an illustrator of e-hon (woodblock print illustrated books) and his popularity rapidly increased. Kunisada remained one of the "trendsetters" of the Japanese woodblock print until his death in early 1865.


H 21 in. x W 15.75 in. x D 1.5 in.