Torii Kiyohiro

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Torii Kiyohiro (鳥居 清広, d. c.1776) was a Japanese artist of the Torii school of ukiyo-e.


Kiyohiro's date of birth is unknown, [1] while Ukiyo-e Ruikō lists his death date as 1776. No other evidence of those dates are known. [2]

Kiyohiro's personal name was Shichinosuke (七之助). He lived in the Sakaimachi area of Edo (modern Tokyo) and was registered as a student of Torii Kiyomasu I and likely studied under Torii Kiyonobu II or Torii Kiyomasu II. [2] Ernest Fenollosa considered him "of almost equal ability with" his contemporary Torii Kiyomitsu, and speculated they may have been brothers. [3]

Kiyohiro's first known work appeared about 1751, [4] and the last about 1764. All of his known works are benizuri-e , and though the Torii school was known for its yakusha-e actor prints, Kiyohiro also specialized in bijin-ga prints of female beauties extending into some with erotic themes. [2] He specialized in designing prints in the ōban size. [4] Two of his major sponsors/printers were Sakai-ya of Hongoku-chō, and Hōsendō of Tōri Abura-chō, both in the close neighborhood of Ichimura and Nakamura kabuki theaters. [5]



  1. Two children playing shogi chess and a grown-up male reading a book. Inscription: “Let me see”, a dialogue on the lower left; artist’s name as Torii Kiyohiro (right-to-left, bottom); printer’s name as #Sakaiya, Honkoku, bottom.
  2. Inscription: a waka poem, top half of the picture; artist’s name, bottom right.
  3. A set of three pictures. Right panel: A young vender selling crickets in basket, and a female customer holding a fan as a symbol for summer; a Haiku poem at the foot of the figures; artist’s name, lower right; printer’s name as Tōri Abura-chō, Yama Maruko-ban aka #Hōsendō, bottom center. Middle panel: A female vender with flowers of early fall, and a customer dressed as a samurai with a katana sword; a Haiku poem, lower left; artist’s name, bottom right; printer’s name, bottom left. Left panel: A male vender selling lanterns, and the female customer in kimono with morning glory design indicating it is summer/early fall; a Haiku poem to the left; artist’s name, bottom right; printer’s name, bottom center.
  4. Two kabuki actors in front of a portable furnace. There are cherry blossoms and a twig of pine in the furnace. Inscription: Nakamura Tomijuro as Keishi, a kabuki role (left); a haiku poem (top middle); Ichikawa Danjuro as Sanjo, a kabuki role (right); artist’s name with two seals, bottom right; printer’s name, bottom left.
  5. Inscriptions: Agemaki courtesan, Nakamura Tomijuro (middle right); a role name, Nakamura Shichisaburo (middle left); artist’s name with a seal (middle far right); printer’s name as Tōri Abura-chō, #Hōsendō Maruya, yama Maruko-ban.
  6. Inscription: Ema Koshiro, the role name, Sanogawa Ichimatsu, a kabuki actor (top middle, right); Kisegawa, the role name, Nakamura Tomijuro, a kabuki actor (top middle, left); artist’s name, bottom right; printer’s name, Hammoto with red seal. Rijksmuseum.
  7. Inscription: Omutsu, role name; Nakamura Kiyoshiro, kabuki actor (middle right); artist’s name (bottom left); printer’s name, Hongoku yon-chome, #Sakai-ya, Hongoku (bottom right). Rijksmuseum.

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Works cited

  • Fenollosa, Ernest (1896). The Masters of Ukioye: A Complete Historical Description of Japanese Paintings and Color Prints of the Genre School. Knickerbocker Press.
  • Fujikake, Shizuya (1946). "Torii Kiyohiro". Zōtei Ukiyo-e増訂浮世絵 (Zōho (expanded and revised) ed.). Yuzankaku. pp. 101–102.
  • Fujisawa, Yukari (2006). "Kawamata Tsuneyuki". In Kobayashi, Tadashi (ed.). Ukiyo eshi retsuden浮世絵師列伝. Bessatsu Taiyō (in Japanese). Heibonsha. p. 31. ISBN   9784582944938.
  • Japan Ukiyo-e Association (1982). Genshoku Ukiyo-e Dai-Hyakka Jiten原色 浮世絵大百科事典 第6巻[Original Colour Grand Ukiyo-e Encyclopaedia]. 6. Taishūkan Publishing.

Further reading