Sugimura Jihei

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  • Active: c. 1680s-90s
  • Japanese: 杉村治兵衛 (Sugimura Jihei)

Sugimura Jihei was an early ukiyo-e artist, known chiefly for his book illustrations. Erotic prints constituted roughly 2/3 of his production, a greater proportion than any other prominent Japanese artist. His earliest known book illustration is from 1681; Sugimura remained active into the 1690s.

Though prints were chiefly monochrome at this time, many of Sugimura's works were hand-colored, using watercolors similar to those used in beni-e ("rose prints") and urushi-e ("lacquer prints") a few decades later. Though ukiyo-e expert Richard Lane writes that coloring tended to detract from the works of Sugimura's contemporary Hishikawa Moronobu, he writes that the watercolors added to the soft sensuality of Sugimura's images.

Though he rarely signed his works in a normal manner, Sugimura often worked his name into the kimono patterns of the girls in his compositions.


  • Lane, Richard. Images from the Floating World. New York: Konecky & Konecky, 1978. pp51-54.