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Exhibit Catalog to the Morris County Historical Society's "Out of the Closet" Exhibition

Utagawa Hiroshige II

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The original name of Hiroshige II (1829 - 1869) was Chinpei Suzuki. Traditionally a pupil's artist name was derived from the first or last part of the master's name. In this case, Hiroshige I gave his pupil the name Shigenobu.

Shigenobu was welcomed into the family and adopted by his master when Hiroshige's own son died in 1845. Hiroshige I died in 1858 and Shigenobu took on his master's name, calling himself Hiroshige, and married Otatsu, an adopted daughter of Hiroshige I. At the time, he was usually referred to as Utagawa Hiroshige II.

Unfortunately, around 1865, the couple had divorced and Hiroshige II moved to Yokohama. He then took on the name Ryusho, but also used his original name Shigenobu. Sources at the time report that toward the end of his life, he was painting lanterns and tea boxes for a living, and he died in poverty four years after his divorce.

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