Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

Autumn Moon at Toin: Flute Player Yasumasa

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Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Autumn Moon at Toin: Flute Player Yasumasa
Moving Stories of Warriors
Woodblock Print
14.5" x 29.25"
Good color, impression and state. Some wear along the margins. Very light horizontal centerfold on the left sheet.

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Katada Chojiro

About the art

Autumn Moon at Toin was first designed in 1868 as a collaboration between Yoshitoshi, who designed the figures, and Katsukawa Shuntei who designed the background landscape. In this second state, new blocks for the background and a different color scheme are used. The names of Shuntei and the publisher Sanoya Tomigoro are removed; indicating the rights to the image were traded to the publisher Katada Chojiro whose name has been hand-stamped in the left hand corner of the print. This was common practice amongst Ukiyo-e print publishers.  It is quite possible that this re-issue was triggered by the success of the masterful Yoshitoshi triptych:  Fujiwara no Yasumasa Plays the Flute by Moonlight.  

About the artist

The son of a Tokyo physician, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (né Kinzaburo Yoshioka) is considered one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e art. As a young boy he showed remarkable talent and began to study under the renowned Kuniyoshi at the age of 12. Yoshitoshi also studied under Yosai and was adopted by the Tsukioka family.


As modernization pushed ahead, Yoshitoshi suffered a nervous breakdown in 1872, living in poverty and ceasing all artistic production. A year later, he resumed working; adopting the artist name Taiso and fulfilling his creative potential. In 1885, he began one of his most acclaimed series, 100 Views of the Moon. In the spring of 1892, he suffered his final mental breakdown and was committed to the Sugamo Asylum. On the 9th of June 1892, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53.


Yoshitoshi’s prints are known for their eerie and imaginative component. He worked in a Japan undergoing rapid change, straddling the domains of the old, feudal systems and the new, modern world. His considerable imagination and originality imbued his prints with a sensitivity and honesty rarely seen in ukiyo-e of this time period. From ghost stories to folktales, graphic violence to the gentle glow of the moon, Yoshitoshi not only offers compositional and technical brilliance, but also unfettered passion.

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