Shikitei Sanba

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  • Born: 1776
  • Died: 1822
  • Japanese: 式亭三馬 (Shikitei Sanba)

Shikitei Sanba was a significant literary figure of the early 19th century. His kokkeibon (humorous books) and other works are prized for their depiction of the vibrant life of working-class urban communities. Two of his most celebrated works are Ukiyoburo (Floating World Bathhouse, pub. 1809-1813) and Ukiyodoko (Floating World Barbershop, pub. 1813-1814).

Sanba was born and raised the son of a professional artisan, a woodblock carver. He opened and ran his own cosmetics business while also writing books, and working with publishers to get them published.

In 1818, he contributed to the revision of Ukiyo-e ruiko, a volume about ukiyo-e woodblock prints.


  • Tom Gaubatz, "A Barbershop on Every Corner: Urban Space and Identity Performance in the Fiction of Shikitei Sanba," guest lecture, UC Santa Barbara, 7 Jan 2016.