Toyokuni III / Kunisada ( 1786 - 1864 )
Kunisada Utagawa is an important Ukiyo-e artist. He became Toyokuni's student at the age of 15 under the name of Kunisada. He produced his first prints in 1807. In 1815, he produced a series of 7 bust type portraits of the Kabuki actors, which gained him immediate recognition. He was a polyvalent artist capable of working within a larger diversity of styles in order to adapt to the styles and tastes of the time. He worked mainly in the domain of illustrated books.
His most important and well-known masterpiece is Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji (the second story of Genji) Ryutei Tanehiko wrote this novel, which is a parody of the classic stories of Murasaki. This book (a satire of the decadent and polygamous manners of the leaders of Edo Castle) had a great success amongst the bourgeoisie and remained on sale for fifteen years.
Kunisada took the name of Toyokuni III in 1844, in honor of his teacher.