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Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

Toda Hanbei Shigeyuki

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Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Toda Hanbei Shigeyuki
100 Views of the Moon
Woodblock Print
14" x 9.25"
Very good color, impression and state, very small tear left top and right margin area, original album backing, embellished with black lacquer

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Questions about this piece? 212.688.0188


Akiyama Buemon

About the art

The warrior Toda Hanbei Shigeyuki stands on a hill as the Battle of Mount Tobisu rages. The flags below bear the mon, or crests, of the great families who were involved in the fight. Individual warriors are identified by sashimono, symbols worn on poles attached to their backs. Usually, this symbol was a flag or card with an appropriate emblem. Shigeyuki used a human skull, which likely terrified his enemies. While the title of the print identifies Shigeyuki, some scholars suggest that the figure is actually Sakai Tadatsugu, the general who marched soldiers through the pouring rain to the top of Mount Tobisu.

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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