Sharaku Toshusai

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Sharaku Toshusai (shä´räkōō tōshŏŏsī´), fl. 1794, Japanese artist. Extant sources indicate that he was either Saito Jurobei, a Noh dancer in the employ of the Daimyo of Awa, or that his name was Toshusai and he lived in Hatchobori. There are 136 extant prints of his satirical and often cutting images of actors and performers; all were made between May, 1794, and Feb., 1795. His drawing is individual and vigorous, but often striking in its exaggeration. After his death his popularity increased in Europe; this led to a recognition of his talent in Japan.

See biography by I. Kondo (1955); study by J. Suzuki (1968); H. Henderson and L. Ledoux, Sharaku: Japanese Theatre Prints (1984).