Page:Japanese Wood Engravings.djvu/92

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For Nishimura Shigenaga, Suzuki Harunobu, Shunshō, Shunchō, Utamaro, and Toyokuni, see Plates I–VI.

For Okumura Masanobu see Fig. 7, p. 18. For Kiosai, see Fig. 33, p. 65.

The names by which the later popular artists are known are nearly all patronymics or noms de guerre, adopted in compliment to their teachers. For example, Kondo Jiubei, on entering the school of Utagawa Ichiriusai Toyohiro, thenceforth signed himself Utagawa Hiroshigé; Ichiriusai Hiroshigé, or Hiroshigé (the final name is always that by which the person is familiarly designated). As a rule the artist adopts the second character of his teacher’s name, and adds to this another which he in turn transmits to his followers, but sometimes the first is chosen. Thus, the pupils of Toyokuni are Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, &c.; those of Kunisada are Sadatora, Sadamasu, &c.; those of Hokusai are Hokuba, Isai, &c. More rarely the whole name is taken, either during the life and with the consent of the original owner, as when Hokusai gave his name of Saito to Endo Hanyémon, who became Saito the Second–or after his death, as in the case of Kunisada, who in 1844 adopted the signature of Toyokuni (died 1828) in place of his own.

Other names, again, are founded upon a local or personal allusion, as Hokuso Wō (Itchō), “the Ancient of the Northern Window”; Hokusai, “the Northern Studio”; Man Rojin, “the Ancient of a Hundred Centuries,” &c. Of such designations the person may assume several in the course of a lifetime, throwing one aside in favour of another as often as caprice dictates a change, and much to the discomfiture of future collectors of his works.


First Period.

Ninth century (?) to 1608. Chiefly portraitures of divinities, engraved in the Buddhist temples.

Second Period.

1608–1680. Early illustrated books, with roughly-cut pictures, sometimes hand-coloured, names of artists and engravers unknown.

Third Period.

1680–1710. Artistic albums–illustrated books–pictorial broadsides–panoramic views. Rudimentary chromoxylography.