1786 - 1865
Also known as: Gototei, Kochoro, Ichiyosai, Toyokuni III, Shozo
The most prolific of all ukiyo-e artists (over 20,000 designs). At 15, then a pupil of Toyokuni; took name of Kunisada. In 1807 the young artist produced first illustrated book; in 1808 began to make actor prints. Unlike so many others, he was commercially successful from the beginning. From 1833 he studied in the style of Itcho under Hanabusa Ikkei, taking the name of Kochoro. In 1844 he took over the studio name of Toyokuni. He is known as Toyokuni III, since the name of Toyokuni II was already claimed by a lesser known ukiyo-e artist, Toyoshige, the son-in-law of Toyokuni I. He was a flexible artist, and worked in a wide range of styles according to the tastes and fashions of the changing times; he designed kabuki themes, beautiful women, historical events, and quite a few shunga, but few landscapes. He collaborated with Kuniyoshi and Hiroshige. His students included Kunichika and Chikanobu. His large number of prints underscores his era of prints as a craft rather than a fine art, with his personal involvement often minimal.