Artist: Ryūsai Shigeharu (柳斎重春)

Alternate names:
Baigansai (go - 梅丸斎)
Gokuryūsai (go - 玉柳斎)
Gyokuryūtei (go - 玉柳亭)
Jinjirō (nickname - 甚治郎)
Kiyōsai (go - 崎陽斎)
Nagasaki (go - 長崎)
Ryūsai (go - 柳斎)
Ryūtei (go - 柳亭)
Takigawa (family name - 滝川)
Yamaguchi (family name - 山口)

Lifetime: 1802 - 1852

Related links:


Names: Nagasaki Shigeharu (1821); Baigansai Kunishige (1821-26); Takigawa Kunishige (1825); Ryūsai Shigeharu (used at least as early as 8/1825); Gyokuryūtei Shigeharu (c. 1830-32); Gokuryūsai Shigeharu.

Dates: 1802-52; active circa 1821-1849

Surname Yamaguchi; personal names Yasuhide and Jinjirō; pupil of Utagawa Kunihiro; also associated with Yanagawa Shigenobu; co-designed with his teacher Kunihiro a print in 8/1825 bearing the Shigeharu signature; however, continued using the name Kunishige for a brief time (e.g., on a print dated 1/1826), apparently until the announcement of the change to Shigeharu on a print in 7/1826; born in Nagasaki but moved to Osaka to study with Kunihiro; Osaka address Mitsuderamachi, Shimanouchi.

Cited at the top of a list of block copyists on the single-sheet broadside Naniwa shoryū gajin meika annai ("Guide to the many famous contemporary artists of Osaka") circa 1831, where his address is given as Mitsuderamachi; mentioned in the 1835 book Naniwa zasshi chimata no uwasa (A miscellany of gossip about the town of Osaka), by Heitei Ginkei, as an artist who was "good at everything"; a manuscript providing biographies of writers and artists circa mid-1840s, Keisetsu gesakusha kô (Treatise on gesaku makers in Kyoto-Osaka) by Kimura Mokuô (Uyūsanjin), describes Shigeharu as the only Osaka artist of his time earning a living entirely from ukiyo-e print design (all the other artists supported themselves in different professions while making prints on the side; see TWOP), adding that "he was better than the rest" (also mentions Shigeharu's daughter, Yonejo, as a competent painter popular among foreign collectors).

Known to have designed single-sheet prints, illustrated books, theater billboards, theatrical programs, and paintings; productivity in single-sheet design peaked between 1829 -1831, with no prints currently known from mid-1822 until 8/1825; final year of activity in Osaka appears to have been 1838, but surviving specimens from that year are rare; apparently returned to his native Nagasaki in the early 1840s; probably not the same artist as one signing Kunishige from 1849 and after; also probably not the same artist signing as Shigeharu on prints dated circa 1849–51.

Pupils included Shigenao; Shigefusa; Shigeyasu; Shigetoyo; Shigeyoshi; Shigehiro; and Shigemasa.

This information is taken directly from Osakaprints.com.


Many of Shigeharu's prints are surimono or surimno-like and therefore lack any publisher's seal at all. However we do know that he was published by Tenmaya Kihei in 1821, 1829-30, 1832 and 1835, Honsei in 1830-31 and 1833 and Wataya Kihei in 1830-32 and 1836. He was also published jointly on single prints by all three publishers in 1837.