Born in Edo, Kiyochika was the son of a minor government official. He studied Western oil painting under Charles Wirgman and Japanese style painting with Kawanabe Kyosai and Shibata Zeshin. Influenced by imported lithographs and etchings, he turned to woodblock printing. He as also an illustrator for books, magazines and newspapers, having reported and depicted the Ruso-Japanese War of 1894 – 1895. In his prints, he produced views of contemporary Tokyo as it changed under the impact of Western influences. Although he was unable to revitalise the ukiyo-e style, he is considered the last of the important ukiyo-e printmakers.