Kōno Bairei was a Japanese painter, book illustrator, and art teacher. He was born and lived in Kyoto. He was a member of the Ukiyo-e school and was a master of kacho-e painting in the Meiji period of Japan.
In 1852, he went to study with the Maruyama-school painter, Nakajima Raisho. After Raisho's death, Bairei studied with the Shijo-school master Shiokawa Bunrin.
His work included flower prints, bird prints, and landscapes, with a touch of western realism. Bairei's Album of One Hundred Birds was published in 1881.
He opened an art school in 1880 and his students included Takeuchi Seihō, Kawai Gyokudō, and Uemura Shōen.