Japan art and Toyohiro: Edo artist

Japan art and Toyohiro: Edo artist

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Utagawa Toyohiro (1773-1828) was born during the Edo Period. He was a notable member of the Utagawa School – which developed many esteemed ukiyo-e printmakers. His early mentor was Utagawa Toyoharu. 

The Portland Art Museum says, “Toyohiro was a pupil of Utagawa Toyoharu. Less flamboyant and ambitious, perhaps, he rarely ventured into actor prints and focused on bijin ga and landscapes instead. He illustrated hundreds of books for popular writers, such as Santô Kyôden and Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848).”

Toyohiro taught and influenced Utagawa Hiroshige – while Hokusai also noted his works concerning the entertainment quarter of Yoshiwara. Accordingly, Toyohiro influenced Hiroshige to focus on landscapes and other dimensions of ukiyo-e outside the world of acting and other popular artistic subjects.

In the art above, the refined angle of Toyohiro can be felt. Hence, despite the subject matter not being dramatic – and instead very mundane: a sense of refinement still entails concerning the artistic skills that blessed his career.

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