Utagawa Kuniyoshi

(c. 1798 - 1861) Japanese artist
In this Japanese name, the family name is Utagawa.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川 国芳, January 1, 1798[1]-April 14, 1862), also called Kuniyoshi, was a Japanese artist. He was a masters of the ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting.[2]


Kuniyoshi was part of the Utagawa school of artists.[3]

The range of Kuniyoshi's subjects included landscapes, beautiful women, Kabuki actors, cats, and mythical animals. He is known images of the battles of samurai and legendary heroes.[4] His work was affected by Western art and caricature.[2]

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was one of his students.

His work influenced Toyohara Chikanobu.[5]

Takashi Murakami credits the influence of Kuniyoshi in his work.[4]

List of print seriesEdit

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  • Illustrated Abridged Biography of the Founder (c. 1831)
  • Famous Views of the Eastern Capital (c. 1834)
  • Heroes of Our Country's Suikoden (c. 1836)
  • Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women (c. 1841-1842)
  • Fifty-Three Parallels for the Tōkaidō (1843–1845)
  • Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety (1843–1846)
  • Mirror of the Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety (1844–1846)
  • Six Crystal Rivers (1847–1848)
  • Fidelity in Revenge (c. 1848)
  • Twenty-Four Chinese Paragons of Filial Piety (c. 1848)
  • Sixty-Nine Stations along the Kisokaido (1852)
  • Portraits of Samurai of True Loyalty (1852)
  • 24 Generals of the Kai Provence (1853)


Multi-panel impressions, tryptichsEdit

Yoko-e, a print in horizontal or "landscape" formatEdit

Single panel formatEdit


Kuniyoshi made many images of cats.

Kuniyoshi made images which were caricatures.


  1. Ōkubo, Junichi (1994), "Utagawa Kuniyoshi", Asashi Nihon rekishi jinbutsu jiten (朝日日本歴史人物事典) (in Japanese), Tokyo, Japan: Asahi Shimbun Company, ISBN 4023400521
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). "Kuniyoshi" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 576.
  3. Nussbaum, "Utagawa-ryū" at p. 1018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lubow, Arthur. "Everything But the Robots: A Kuniyoshi Retrospective Reveals the Roots of Manga," New York Magazine. March 7, 2010; retrieved 2012-3-29.
  5. "Yōshū Chikanobu [obituary]," Miyako Shimbun, No. 8847, October 2, 1912. p. 195.
  6. Kitagawa, Hiroshi et al. (1975). The Tale of the Heike, pp. 511-513.
  7. Nussbaum, "Miyamoto Musashi" at p. 650.
  8. Nussbaum, "Kakinomoto no hitomaro" at p. 456.

Other websitesEdit