Yoshitsuya (1822 - 1866 )

A 19th-century ukiyo-e printmaker and illustrator, Yoshitsuya was a pupil of Kuniyoshi Utagawa. Growing up during the late Edo period, Yoshitsuya experienced the sharp decline of the political stability that defined the early Edo period. As the 1840s brought famine and economic despair, the Shogunate introduced the Tenpo Reforms (1841-1842). These edicts banned the depiction of actors and courtesans in ukiyo-e in an effort to remove the "luxury" from printmaking. Unhindered by these restrictions, Yoshitsuya's work focuses mainly on triumphant warriors of Japanese history and legend. Some of his noted series include 54 Battle Stories by Hideyoshi, presenting 54 scenes of Japan's 16th-century unifier, and The Scenic Places of Tokaido, which he completed with a range of top artists and publishers of his time. Today, his works can be found in esteemed collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum.

Japanese Woodblock Prints (1800 - 1868)

By the 19th century, Japanese woodblock prints achieved extraordinary popularity. While the shogunate issued a battery of censorship reforms throughout the 1800s, artists ignored and evaded restrictions with images of indulgent beauties and vibrant kabuki actors. As constraints tightened in the 1840s, bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) became earthier in prints by Eizan and Eisen, while kabuki actors persevered in the work of Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III). During this period, ukiyo-e artists also added landscapes, warriors, ghosts and scenes of everyday life to their oeuvre. Artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige indulged a national wanderlust through Meisho-e or “famous place pictures,” while Kuniyoshi championed musha-e, a genre of warrior and legendary pictures.


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  • Aikawa, Minwa (ask Gosentei)
  • Ashiyuki
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  • 1800 - 1868 (Edo)


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Raising Wind and Rain Competition between Dragon and Tiger


Raising Wind and Rain Competition between Dragon and Tiger


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Yokogawa Sanpei Munenori


Yokogawa Sanpei Munenori



Uramatsu Sandayu Takanao


Uramatsu Sandayu Takanao