Utagawa Kuniaki II ( 1835 ~ 1888)

Kuniaki II, also known as Hachisuka Kuniaki (蜂須賀国明), was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist active during the late Edo period and the early Meiji era.
Originally named Utagawa Kunisada II when he became a student of Utagawa Kunisada, he later adopted the name Kuniaki II. He is known for his bijin-ga (美人画, pictures of beautiful women), Yokohama-e (横浜絵), Yakusha-e (役者絵, kabuki actor prints) and sumo wrestler prints, catering to the demands of Edo's (present-day Tōkyō, 東京) merchant class.
His works are characterized by vibrant colors and dramatic compositions, reflecting the flamboyant and popular style of the Utagawa school.
With the advent of modernization and Western influences during the Meiji era, the popularity of traditional ukiyo-e waned, and many artists like Kuniaki II faced challenges in maintaining their traditional art forms. Despite this, Kuniaki II's works remain a testament to Japan's rich cultural heritage and provide a window into the aesthetics and society of his time.
His prints, like those of many ukiyo-e artists, have been collected and studied for their artistic and historical value, contributing to our understanding of Japanese art and culture during a period of significant transition.