Morikawa Chikashige

Morikawa Chikashige 守川周重  (active 1869 - January 1882) 


Sources: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), by Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 30-31; [The] Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints, Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing Company, 2005, p. 97; [A] Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer, Laurance P. Roberts, Weatherhill, 1976, p. 12.

A contemporary of his teacher Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900), from whom he took the first character 周 (chika) for his main art name () Chikashige, the artist worked in a style similar to his teacher, specializing in three-sheet (triptych) compositions of kabuki actors and plays (yakusha-e).  No information is available about his life, except that he was originally named Otojirō 音次郎 or 音治郎 (a name which occasionally appears on his prints).  Even the dates of his birth and death are unknown, except for a reference to his being dead in a "Yomiuri shinbun" article written in 1900. 

In addition to his actor triptychs, of which well over 100 are extant, Chikashige produced a few kaika-e, prints depicting modernization, illustrations for newspapers (nishiki-e and shinbun etoki) and for kabuki-themed novels (sashi-e), along with advertisements (hikifuda), examples of which are shown below.

In addition to the Chikashige, the artist used, at various times in his career, the names Ichibaisai 一梅齊 and Kichōsai 喜蝶齊 and he is sometimes referred to as Utagawa Chikashige 歌川周重, reflecting his Utagawa School lineage.

Examples of Chikashige's Work [reference only - not part of this collection]

Meiji nenkan azumanikki, 1875

(Meiji Eastern Journal)

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Mameban news nishikie

Eiri shinbun 4, 1875

Yosha Bunko

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Hikifuda (advertisement) for tea wholesaler, undated

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Matching Pairs: The Contest of Power (Futatsu Tomoe Isei Kurabe), 1878

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Shōni-yaku-ō Kindoru-san (Kinder-puwder), 1880

Hikifuda (advertisement) for King of children's drug: Kinder-Puwder

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Daini naikoku kangyo hakurankai ichiran no zu ueno koenchi, 1881

Illustration of the Second Industrial Exhibition at Ueno Park

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Sample Signatures and Seals of the Artist

Prints in Collection


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Kaihi sandai banashi, 1873

IHL Cat. #1273

Nishiki-e Shinbun, Yomiuri Shinbun No. 9, Illustrations No. 24 and No. 25, 1875

IHL Cat. #1904*

Shinbun etoki, No. 18, 1876

IHL Cat. #2437* and #2438*

The Actors Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Bandō Kakitsu in the play Jiraiya gōketsu monogatari, 1881

IHL Cat. #1225