Utagawa Yoshimori

Utagawa Yoshimori 歌川芳盛 (1830-1884*)

* Japan wikipedia gives his date of death as October 5, 1885 

BIOGRAPHY

Sources: A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer, Laurance P. Roberts, Weatherhill, 1976, p. 202-203; Wikipedia Japan https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%AD%8C%E5%B7%9D%E8%8A%B3%E7%9B%9B [accessed 12=30-23]; The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints, Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing Company, 2005, p. 505.

Family and Given name: Taguchi (originally Miki) 三 木  Sakuzō 田 口作蔵; [artist name]: Ikkōsai 一光斎, Kōsai 光斎, Kuniharu 国晴, Sakurabō さくら坊, Yoshimori 芳盛.


Little is known about the life of Yoshimori, other than he was born Taguchi Sakuzō in 1830 and died in either 1884 or 1885. He was a student of Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), one of the most successful woodblock print designers in Edo, and used multiple artist names as listed above. He lived in the Edo districts of Shitayashirokoji (now Uenohirokoji) and then moved to Ikenohatakayacho. Some sources, including the above referenced wikipedia Japan site, say that he was a member of the Japanese Diet and resigned either in 1884 or 1885. Other sources make no mention of this. Towards the end of his life he moved to Yokohama.


He designed both woodblock prints and illustrated books. As well as producing images of Yokohama, he designed kachoga1, musha-e, yokohyama-e, giga and works of political satire such as the below pictured 1864 print Tongue-cut Sparrow (Shita-kiri suzume). He contributed over a dozen prints to the famous series Scenes of Famous Places along the Tōkaidō Road (Tōkaidō meisho fūkei), also known as the Processional Tōkaidō (Gyōretsu Tōkaidō.) The influence of Kuniyoshi is clear in many of his works. He designed over thirty books, many of them song and humorous poetry books. 

Tongue-cut Sparrow, 1864

His pupils include Utagawa Yoshimori II 歌川芳盛 二代  (1854-?) and Utagawa Koyoshimori 歌川小芳盛 (active late 1860s–early 1870s).

His grave is in a nondenominational graveyard in the Kubotani district of Yokohama cemetery.

1 These were designed mainly for export. 

Signatures and Seals of the Artist (a sampling)

[1]  一光斎芳盛画 Ikkōsai Yoshimori ga (1863); [2] 芳盛戯画 Yoshimori ga (1863); [3]  一光斎芳盛画 Ikkōsai Yoshimori giga (1865); [4] 前芳盛光斎写生Zen Yoshimori Kōsai shasei [drawn from life by Kōsai, formerly Yoshimori] (1872); [5] さくら坊 芳盛画 Sakurabō Yoshimori ga

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Prints in Collection

[BELOW PRINTS GIFTED TO THE JORDAN SCHNITZER MUSEUM OF ART, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON]

click on thumbnail for print details