Kiyotada belonged to the Torii school, founded by Kiyonobu Torii, whose artists were known for their lively depictions of Kabuki actors. Prints by Torii artists were often hand colored with red and yellow pigments made from lead and other inorganic (non-plant) materials.
During this early period, artists also developed a technique in which animal glue, called nikawa, was used to give black areas a lacquer-like luster. These prints were called urushi-e, literally "lacquer pictures," although lacquer is not actually used. Initially, artisans painted the nikawa glue over the black. Later, nikawa was mixed with the ink and then the mixture was printed on the paper. In this example, a raised or embossed pattern of flowers and leaves has also been impressed from the carved woodblock into the paper. The luster of the urushi-e and the embossed patterns may be seen more easily by viewing the print from an angle.