Utagawa Kunitoshi 歌川国歳 was one of the pupils of Toyokuni III (Kunisada). He  also studied painting under Utagawa Kunitsugu. He was well-known with his "surimono" style prints and bijin depictions. 

References: Laurence P. Roberts, "Utagawa Kunitoshi", A Dictionary of Japanese Artists, Trumbull, 2000:98.

British Museum

I am also grateful to Hans Olof Johansson to identify the artist's signature.


In this print he depicted Emperor Meiji (Emperor Mutsuhito) and his wife Empress Masako. The emperor wears western style military dress while the empress wears a traditional court dress and standing next to the seating ruler, in front of a small tree with full blossoms. This print was published in 1889 (Meiji 22) to memorize the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution in 1889. The publisher is Kodama Matashichi 児玉又七 . The artist signed the print as Kunitoshi-ga.  

Artist's signature, publisher and the date of printing 1889.






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