Kunisada II
Kunisada II Utagawa (1823-1880) was a pupil of Kunisada (Toyokuni III). He signed his prints as Baido Kunimasa or Kunimasa III. He married his master's daughter in 1846 and took his master's name. After his master's death, he started using the name of Toyokuni IV.

Murasaki Shikibu Genji Karuta

The Tale of Genji is thought to be the world’s oldest novel. It was written by Murasaki Shikibu, a woman from the Heian period (11th century Japan), and chronicles the life and romances of Prince Genji.

This series - Murasaki Shikibu Genji Karuta - is considered to be the best works by Kunisada 2. The series was designed and printed around 1857. Apparently the publisher Tsutaya Kichizo used the highest quality papers and inks for this special Genji series. Each print is identified by the “Genji mon” and title that are located in a unique cartouche in the shape of an opened clamshell. Each scene is surrounded by a beautiful speckled gold-coloured margin.

Series: Fifty-Four Modern Feelings (Murasaki Shikibu Genji Karuta)
Ch. 3 Kunisada 2 - Chapter 13 - Akashi
Chapter 3

Chapter 8 - The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms

Kunisada 2
Chapter 13 - Akashi
1857

Chapter 17 - A Picture Contest
Ch. 18 Ch. 20
Chapter 18 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 - The Maiden Chapter 23 - The First Warbler

Chapter 26 - Wild Carnations Chapter 31 - The Cypress Pillar

Chapter 33 Chapter 34
Chapter 40 - The Rites Chapter 41 - The Wizard Chapter 42 - The Perfumed Prince

Chapter 44 - Bamboo River
Chapter 52 - The Mayfly

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Literature sources used for artist biographies:
  • Various web sources;
  • Merritt, Helen and Yamada, Nanako, "Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints 1900-1975", University of Hawaii Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8248-1732-X.

© Dr Ross F. Walker.