An ōkubi-e is a portrait print or painting showing only the head or the head and upper torso. Katsukawa Shunkō I (1743-1812) is generally credited with producing the first ōkubi-e. He, along with Katsukawa Shunshō, only designed ōkubi-e of kabuki actors. In the early 1780s, Kitagawa Utamaro designed the first ōkubi-e of beautiful women. The shogunate authorities banned ōkubi-e in 1800, but the ban only lasted for about eight years.


  • Newland, Amy Reigle, The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, 2005, Vol. 2, 477-8.
  • Roberts, Laurance P., A Dictionary of Japanese Artists, Tokyo, Weatherhill, 1976, 221.

Gallery of ōkubi-e


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.