Mizuno Toshikata Biography

Mizuno Toshikata




Printmaker and painter Mizuno Toshikata was born Kumejiro Nonaka in Tokyo, Japan, on March 6, 1866, the son of a master plasterer. Formal printmaking studies began at the studio od ukiyo-e master printer Yoshitoshi - though his father's disapproval of the master's unusual, non-conformist style led him to cut his son's studies short. Instead, he was sent to apprentice with pottery painter and Western-style painter Ryuto Yamada, and then with leading Nagnga-style artists Hoshu Shibata, Seitei Watanabe, and Shoso Mishima. 

Toshikata's interest in British advertising and illustration, which he studied on his own, helped garner a position at Yamato shinbun newspaper in 1887, secured with the recommendation of a teacher. During the Sino-Japanese war, he also established himself as a war artist, producing several lithographs for the literary publication Shinshosetsu. He became a sought-after illustrator and a leading ukiyo-e printmaker in his own right, completing a series of images of women titled Thirty-Six Beauties, in the style of Yoshitoshi. He was also commissioned to create a series of fabric patterns titled Brocade Prints of the Capital, by the Mitsui department store.

Toshikata also taught the art of printmaking, establishing a reputation as a strict but passionate ukiyo-e teacher. He taught both men and women, including Hakuho Hirano and Hidekata Mizuno, who later became his wife. 

He died in Tokyo on April 7, 1908.