Katsukawa Shunsho – Master of Hokusai

Art
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Although his name may not ring many bells even among ukiyo-e enthusiasts, Katsukawa Shunsho (1726?-1792) had an outsize influence on Japan's traditional folk art during the mid-Edo period. Specialising in realistic portraits of sumo wrestlers and kabuki actors, he also left behind a number of highly detailed nikuhitsu (hand-drawn) pieces depicting the beautiful women of Edo. What's more, he taught a young Katsushika Hokusai, who adopted the Katsukawa name early in his career, and influenced later masters like Sharaku and Utagawa Toyokuni. Harajuku's Ota Museum now celebrates 290 years since Shunsho's birth with this extensive look at his art, comparing and contrasting it with that of his apprentices. The exhibition is divided into two terms (February 1-28, March 4-27), with the pieces on display rotated after the end of the first term.

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