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1764 - 1788

Koryûsai's family name was Isoda. He had a connection with the house of Tsuchiya, perhaps as a samurai retainer, but after his lord's death Koryûsai became a rônin, a samurai without a lord or master. He seems to have relinquished his samurai ranking and then moved to the Yagenbori district near the Ryûgoku Bridge in Edo. He became a print designer there under the art name Haruhiro in 1769. The ukiyo-e print master Harunobu died in 1770, and about that time Kory?sai began making prints in a similar style of life in the pleasure districts. Kory?sai was a prolific designer of individual prints and print series, most of which appeared between 1769 and 1881. In 1782 Kory?sai applied for and received the Buddhist honour hokky? (Bridge of the Law) from the imperial court and thereafter used the title as part of his signature. His output slowed from this time, though he continued to design prints until his death in 1790. Among his most notable achievements were his hashira-e, pillar-prints, arguably among the best designs ever created in the format.