Utagawa Kunimasa (歌川国政)

Kunimasa UTAGAWA the first (初代 歌川 国政, 1773 - December 26, 1810) was an Ukiyoe artist in the late Edo period. His secular name was Jinsuke SATO (佐藤甚助), and his pen name was Ichijusai (一寿斎). He was born in Aizu.

Brief Personal History

At first he was a craftsman for dyeing goods at a Koya dye shop but later became a disciple of Toyokuni UTAGAWA the first, and although he had a good talent which was said to exceed his master, in the end he retired to run a business for selling the masks of Kabuki actors and died young. There is only a few Kunimasa's artworks left.


His finely honed sensibility seen in his "Okubie" (large-head pictures) was never limited to the beautification of the looks of actors and allowed no one else to imitate, and his refined original talent is seen in the elegant portrayal of "Bijinga" (beautiful-woman pictures),


"A woman wearing Tenugui towel on the head performed by Noshio NAKAMURA"

[Original Japanese]