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Biography
Toyohide    
Hokumyo signature
Japanese Characters:
   
Names:
Kitagawa (apparently a surname, although he signed with it — see signature at left); Ichiryûtei; Isshintei
   
Dates:
Active c. 1839 - 1841
   
Seals:
None recorded(?)

Comments:

Very little is known about Toyohide (豊秀). His family name was Kitagawa (北川), and he also used the geimei (art names: 芸名) Ichiryûtei (一𣴑亭) and Isshintei (一信亭). He was active a few years before and a year after the start of the Tenpô kaikaku (Tenpô Reforms: 天保改革) of 1842, edicts that virtually halted print production in Osaka for five years. Toyohide's prints date from 1838 to 1843.

On at least two print designs (including the present example), his signature appears within a toshidama-style cartouche ("New Year's jewel" or "New Year's gift," a type of year seal used as the crest of the Utagawa school of artists), suggesting a possible connection with the Edo-based artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川國貞 later Toyokuni III 豊國 1786-1865), although Toyohide's use of "Toyo" (豊) in his name precedes Kunisada's taking of the Toyokuni name in 1844 and could suggest that Toyohide might have had an early apprenticeship with Utagawa Toyokuni I (歌川豊國 1769-1825), albeit more than a decade before Toyohide's first known prints. To complicate matters further, the Osaka print scholar Hendrick Lühl (unpublished correspondence) has determined that there was a second artist named Toyohide (dates unknown), also signing "Kitagawa Toyohide" or simply "Toyohide," who worked in the post-Tenpô chûban format (circa 1847-63). No pupils of the first Toyohide have been identified.)

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