[Iwakubo Kinemon; Kikō; Kyōsai]
(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1780; d Edo, 1850).
Japanese printmaker and book illustrator. He initially studied painting with Kanō Yōsen (1735–1808), the head of the Kobikichō branch of the Kanō school and okaeshi (official painter) to the Tokugawa shogunate. Together with Teisai Hokuba (1771–1844), Hokkei was one of Katsushika Hokusais best students (see Japan §X 3., (iii), (d)). He made his artistic debut in ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) circles c. 1800, producing illustrations for sharebon (comic novels, usually licentious), hanashibon (story books) and kyōkabon (books of ‘crazy verse’). His main period of activity, however, was in the 1820s and 30s. He continued to illustrate kyōka books, but his most outstanding works are kyōka surimono (‘printed objects’; deluxe prints). His representative piece from this period is his illustrated edition of Rokujuen’s [Ishikawa Masamochi] (1753–1830) kokkeibon (humorous tales of urban life), Hokuri jūniji (‘The twelve hours of the northern village’, a euphemism for the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter). Hokkei produced few ...