Original Japanese Woodblock Print - Utagawa Kunimasa IV ( 1848-1920 )

Sale price Price $ 12,000.00 Regular price Unit price  per 

Tax included.

Original Japanese Woodblock Print - Utagawa Kunimasa IV ( 1848-1920 )


Meiji actor’s

Size 35 x 25 cm

Utagawa Kunimasa IV 四代 歌川国政 (1848 – 1920)

Originally born Takenōchi Hidehisa 竹内栄久, the artist used multiple (artist names) during his career including Baidō Hōsai 梅堂豊斎, Baidō Kunimasa 梅堂国政, Kōchōrō 香朝楼, Kunimasa 国政 IV, Kunisada 国貞 III and Toyokuni 豊国 V.  Early in his career he used the Kunimasa IV and Baidō Hōsai.  In 1889 he succeeded as head of the Utagawa line and took the Kunisada III.  Later in his career he claimed the title Toyokuni IV, but that  was already taken (a fact that he refused to recognize), so he is referred to as Toyokuni V.  

He studied under Toyokuni III at age 11 and then under Utagawa Kunisada I (1786–1865) and Utagawa Kunisada II (1823-1880).

He specialized in Meiji actor prints and along with Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900) is considered by some as the best of the yakush-e artists.   He also designed senso-e (war prints), kaika-e (pictures of modernization), e-hon (book illustrations), senjafuda (privately published votive slips) and a type of game board, e-sugoroku.

His eldest son was the artist Utagawa Kokunimasa (1874-1944).

"Hōsai died from illness, age 72, on 26 October 1920 at his home in Asakusa-tamachi.  Following his death, his role in the history of Meiji actor prints was largely forgotten and overshadowed by the accomplishments of the more prolific, and creative, figure of Kunichika.