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Ryukosai signature
Japanese Characters:
Ryukosai kanji
Ryûkôsai (see signature at left)
Active circa 1776-1809


Surname Taga; personal names Jokei and Jihei; studied with Shitomi Kangetsu (son and pupil of Tsukioka Settei); Osaka addresses Horie Kameibashi or Kita-Horie 4-chôme; then later at Nanba Shinchi Kyôbashimachi.

Seminal actor print designer credited as the founder of the Osaka School and with introducing nishiki-e in Kamigata; earliest known work is an illustration in the poetry collection Kyôka narabi oka (1776); first illustrated book (ehon) of actor portrayals is the Yakusha mono iwai (A celebration of actors, 1784); most admired book is Ehon niwatazumi (Picture book of flowering rainwater, 3 vols., 1790); worked as a portrait painter and book illustrator, but also designed at least 46 single-sheet prints, nearly all issued as polyptychs (attributions are hampered by the majority being unsigned designs in the Ryûkôsai style); as a printmaker, worked primarily in the hosoban format (nearly all from the early 1790s); said to have influenced the Edo master Tôshûsai Sharaku and possibly also Katsukawa Shunei; cited in Denki sakusho (1843) by the playwright Nishizawa Ippô as actor portraitist whose likenesses were admired by connoisseurs; prints are quite rare and much sought after by collectors and curators.

Pupils included Shôkôsai.; Ryûkôsai II; Rankôsai(?); Hotta Yukinaga; Nagashide(?)

There are currently no prints by Ryûkôsai in the Gallery.    

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