Sadahide was born as Hashimoto Kenjiro in Shimosa Province (modern Chiba Prefecture) near Edo. He became a student of Utagawa Kunisada I, also known as Tokokuni III and usually signed himself Gountei Sadahide. In the 1830s he began to produce color prints of conventional subjects such as beautiful women and actors. But, he was best known for his ukiyo-e style prints of foreigners in Yokohama in the 1860s, a period when he was a best-selling artist. His first Yokohama prints in 1859-1860 were panoramic maps, but he soon began to specialize in pictures of foreigners, designing fifty-five prints in 1860, forty in 1861, and three in 1862. He was a member of the Tokugawa shogunate’s delegation to the International Exposition of 1867 in Paris.