Kikugawa Eizan (菊川英山) (artist 1787 – 1867)

Chōkyūsai (go - 重九斎)
Kikugawa Toshinobu (family name - 菊川俊信)
Mangorō (nickname - 万五郎)
Ōmiya (original family name - 大宮)
Tamegorō (nickname - 為五郎)



"Na Toshinobu; common name Mangorō, in Edo hōgaku-wake, his name given as Sabanaya Mankichi; Chōkyūsai, Kodayama Eizan. The son of a maker of artificial flowers, with a shop named Ōmiya in Ichigaya. Later addresses given as Yotsuya Tansu-machi, then Kōjimachi rokuchōme. In later years lodged with his pupil Uegiya Magohachi in Takada village; and finally from 1862 lived with his daughter Toyo and her husband's family at Fujioka-chō in Kōzuke Province. Studied first with his father, then the Shijō artist Suzuki Nanrei, and also said to have been acquainted with Hokkei. A few early prints of actors from the beginning of the Bunka era (1804-18), but his main output was prints of beauties taking over from the late Utamaro style which he produced regularly until the late Bunsei era (1818-30). Also known for a small number of paintings of beauties, with their characteristic large oval faces, with long straight noses, pouting mouths and large eyes with heavy eyelashes and pupils placed in the centre. Continued to paint long after he had abandoned print designing, and a six-fold screen of Courtiers in a Boat Admiring Cherry Blossom bears the signature 'painted by the old man of seventy-seven years, Kikugawa Eizan Toshinobu', and so must have been done in 1863..."

Quoted from: Ukiyo-e Paintings in the British Museum by Timothy Clark, p. 194.


Sebastian Izzard wrote in Impressions in 1979 that "Eizan, it appears, could not make the change [to a more modern style], and retired in 1829 to resume the manufacture of paper flowers."


Ukiyo-e painter, printmaker. Taught first by his father, a maker of fans and Kano-style painter, then by Suzuki Nanrei and Iwakubo Hokkei; also infuenced by Utamaro and Hokusai. From the early 1800's until he retired about 1830, became the leading designer of bijinga (based on Utamaro's late style) and actor prints as well as erotica.


Among the very first Japanese prints to enter the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were 19 examples by Eizan. These were in an album of 24 prints which include 2 by Kunisada and 3 by Kunimaru. They were a gift of Mary L. Cassilly in 1894.

A second album of 88 prints was also donated at the time. It was prints from 'The Hundred Poets Compared' series including works by Hiroshige, Kunisada and Kuniyoshi.

Source: 'Early Collectors of Japanese Prints and the Metropolitan Museum of Art' by Julia Meech-Pekarik, Metropolitan Museum Journal, vol. 17, 1982, pp. 93-118.


As an illustrator for book publishers

Eizan drew illustrations for Tsuruya Kiemon in 1810 and for Nishimuraya Nihachi in the same year and again in 1812.