[Iwase Samuru; Rissai, Seisai, Santō Kyōden]
(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1761; d Edo, 1816).
Japanese print designer, book illustrator and writer. Together with Kitao Masayoshi (1764–1824) and Kubo Shunman, he was one of Kitao Shigemasa most brilliant students. He made his début in ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) in 1778 with his illustrations for the kibyōshi (‘yellow cover books’; comic novels) Kaichō ryaku no meguriai. During the next few years he produced illustrations for popular novels, in the manner of other artists in the Kitao studio. At the same time he began to design single-sheet prints, including yakushae (‘pictures of actors’). In the early 1780s Masanobu illustrated extravagant ehon (‘picture books’) and kyōka (‘crazy verse’) books and also produced nishikie (‘brocade pictures’; full-colour prints) series of bijinga (‘pictures of beautiful women’). In 1783 he published his most famous work, Seirō meikun jihitsushū (‘Collection of writings of the wise ruler of the greenhouses’; woodblock-print; London, BM, which consists of 14 tate ōban...