Chikanobu was a student of Toyohara Kunichika. Favorite subjects of Chikanobu were historical and mythological legends and histories from Japan's past and genre scenes with women and children. His best known series are triptychs showing court life in and around the Chiyoda Palace. Like Chikanobu's contemporary, Yoshitoshi, his print themes concentrate on the history and traditional values of old Japan. These series must be seen against the background of an era when Japan was thriving to adopt Western technology and civilization without any criticism.