Kunichika primarily produced prints of Kabuki actors and scenes from popular plays of the time. He regularly spent time backstage, sketching the actors and watching the plays, and his immediate exposure is apparent in the intimacy of his impeccable yakusha-e (actor prints). Unlike most artists of the period, Kunichika used strong reds and dark purples, often as background colors, rather than the softer colors that previously had been employed. Towards the end of his career, Kunichika turned primarily to the triptych format. Its increased size gave him the space to fully portray the drama found in Kabuki plays and the lively action of the actors. A third panel may have originally been part of this work.

One of the main characters in the drama “Meiboku Sendai Hagil” is the evil conspirator/cruel villain Nikki Dannjô, who plots against the elderly man Geki, only to ultimately die after hand-to-hand combat between them.