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Yoshitora (fl. c. 1850 - 1880)

The Syllable Ho: Wakagaki Genzo Fujiwara no Masakata

Series: The Story of the Faithful Samurai in The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers
Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: 1864
Size (H x W): 10 x 7.5 (inches)
Publisher: Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindo)
Seals: Combined aratame and date seal
Provenance: French Collection
Signature: Yoshitora ga
Condition: Very good color and impression, faint soiling and wear, small tape on reverse, embellished with black burnishing.

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About the artist

Yoshitora Utagawa lived and worked in Edo during the 19th century. The exact dates of his birth and death are unknown. He was an important pupil of Kuniyoshi. Yoshitora Utagawa worked in many different genres, from actor portraits to cityscapes of Tokyo, but he is best known for his warrior prints and Yokohama prints. With the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854, Japan opened to American trade at Yokohama. Yokohama-e present Japan's early impression of the Westerners arriving in this port city. Yoshitora was a leading designer of these prints, revealing the appearance and inventions of these foreigners. In addition, he produced prints of foreign scenes, based not on personal observation, but derived from Western engravings. Today, Yoshitora Utagawa's art can be found in such celebrated collections as the British Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.