Musha-e clearly have not been the main field
of Kunisada artistic efforts and only a very few are published.
Only about 150 designs are in my catalog, but I´m quite sure he
designed some hundreds more. In the public meaning musha-e are
joined with the name of Kuniyoshi whose prints have been
collected by western collectors over decades. Maybe some day
more of Kunisada´s musha-e will be found in Japanese or in
unpublished western collections.
Mr. James King states: "Although the contribution by Utawaga
Kunisada to musha-e are often incorrectly assumed to
post-date Kuniyoshi´s Suikoden designs (published in
1827), Kunisada, who was twelve years older than his rival
Kuniyoshi, made many important warrior prints in the 1810s and
early 1820s ..." (Andon 78, A constellation of sources -
Shuntei, Toyokuni I and the genesis of Kuniyoshi´s warrior
prints, Society for Japanese Arts, March 2005).
For most prints shown on this site the dating can only be
made with a range of +/- five years, so it´s not clear whether
they are pre or post Kuniyoshi. But for some certain prints the
dating before Kuniyoshi is
absolutely evident because of the
special writing of the signatures.
And it is also evident that Kunisada
designed all the
prints (except the latest, Toyokuni signed prints) not in his
own typical style (or an Utagawa school style) but in the
Katsukawa school style. At any case the hero prints are designed
in this style. For the historic battle scenes I can´t confirm
this because I have seen to less others.
For some prints I do have only bad files. Sorry but
for this case the bad files are better than nothing.
If you have matching informations and files or better files please let me know and
send them to: