Japan art and the real Kuniteru: Edo and early Meiji

Japan art and the real Kuniteru: Edo and early Meiji

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Kuniteru (Kunitsuna II) was born in 1829 and died in 1874. Similar to other ukiyo-e artists, he had several names. However, the real Kuniteru is difficult to fathom because the same name was used by five individual artists – who overlap in the nineteenth century. Hence, while the fifth Kuniteru III is known to be active at a later date (1886-1895), the art in this article may belong to two different people under the name Kuniteru.

Thus, confusion remains even within esteemed museums. However, the Kuniteru in this art piece is aimed at the individual who studied under Kunisada.

Kuniteru studied under the esteemed Kunisada (1786-1865). Hence, a great teacher gave Kuniteru a firm background to rely on in his later years. Therefore, Kuniteru worked for countless publishers during his lifetime.

Kuniteru belongs to the late Edo Period and witnessed the Meiji Restoration of 1868. He died in the early Meiji Period (1868-1912). However, he was shaped by new ideas entering Japan during the late Edo Period.

The Artelino website says, “His works represent the ongoing changes in Japan from the old Edo to the Meiji era. Kuniteru’s prints show traditional ukiyo-e scenes as well as images from the beginning industrialization of Japan.”

In this art article, Kuniteru’s landscapes, people’s everyday work, and fashion are all represented.



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