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Biography: Gatôken SHUNSHI (画登軒春芝)

Gatoken Shunshi tamizo as gonpachi
Gatôken Shunshi print from c. 1823-24
Onoe Tamizô as Shirai Saijirô (Gonpachi)
in Futatsumon kuruwa no nishiki-e




Gatoken Shunshi signatureGatôken Shunshi (画登軒春芝 act. c. 1823-1835) was a pupil of Shunkôsai Hokushû. He is listed as an actor portraitist on the single-sheet broadside Naniwa shoryû gajin meika annai ("Guide to the many famous contemporary artists of Osaka": 浪華諸流画人名家案内) circa 1831, where he is identified as Tôryûken Shunshi (登龍軒春芝) and his Osaka address as Futatsuido.

Gatôken Shunshi often depicted the actor Onoe Tamizô II (二世 尾上多見蔵 1799-1886) in some fine compositions from the 1820s. These prints represent, on a percentage basis, one of the more dedicated and focused efforts in actor portraiture on the part of an Osaka print designer who has singled out one actor above all others.

An imposing portrait of Tamizô II is shown on the left, where he performs the role of Shirai Saijirô (白井才次郎 actually Shirai Gonpachi 白井権八) in a tale of tragic lovers called Futatsumon kuruwa no nishiki-e (双紋郭錦絵), c. late 1823-early 1824. For more about this print and others by Shunshi, see the link at the bottom of this text.

Gatôken Shunshi should not be confused with at least three other artists of the period also signing as "Shunshi" whose writing of the second character, shi, differed in all instances. Two of these print designers were pupils of Gatôken Shunshi: Gakôken Shunshi (画好軒春枝 act. c. 1824-29) and Shunshi (春始 act. c. 1830s). The third artist was a pupil of Hokushû: Shunyôsai Shunshi (春陽齋春子 act. c. 1820–28 also called Seiyôsai Shunshi, 青陽齋春子 and Seiyôdô Shunshi, 青陽堂春子).

Gatôken Shunshi's Names

Art names (geimei):
Shunshi (春芝)

Art pseudonyms ():
Gatôken (画登軒)
Tôryûken (登龍軒)

Pupils of Gatôken Shunshi

Gashôken Shunpô (画照軒春峰 act. mid-1820s)
Gakôken Shunshi (画好軒春枝 act. c. 1824-29)
Gajuken Shunshô (画寿軒春朝 act. c. 1825-35)
Gayûken Shun'ô (画遊軒春王 act. c. 1825-33)
Shunshi (春始 act. c. 1830s)

For more information about Gatôken Shunshi, see John Fiorillo's web page: