Sugimura Jihei

1681 - 1703

Sugimura Jihei was a Japanese ukiyo-e printmaker who flourished from approximately 1681 to 1703. He is noted by art historian and ukiyo-e collector Richard Lane as an “indirect pupil” of Hishikawa Moronobu. Much of Sugimura’s work was once attributed to fellow followers of Moronobu, or Moronobu himself. In the 1920s, however, unsigned prints were discovered to have hidden signatures of Sugimura's incorporated in the drawing of the clothing folds. It appears Sugimura preferred to sign with his surname rather than his given name.
There are few contemporary texts with information on Sugimura. The earliest mention of him can be found in a directory of Edo artists from 1689, the Edo Zukan Kompuku, where he is listed with his name and address as “Woodblock Artist, Sugimura Jihei Masataka, Tori-Aburacho.” Ryutei Tanahiko’s Yoshabako, published in 1841, also credits Sugimura as illustrator of two books which are not known to be extant.
Sugimura illustrated at least 70 books, and created a number of large size prints along with many of the more standard sizes and formats. Judging from his extant works, it appears that Sugimura specialized in shunga, or erotic prints.
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