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Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Nitta Sadatsune Seeing an Apparition in a Cave

Series: 36 Ghosts and Strange Apparitions
Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: 1902
Size (H x W): 14.25 x 9.5 (inches)
Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi
Seals: Yoshitoshi
Signature: Yoshitoshi
Conditon: Very good color, good impression, light surface soiling on margins, embellished with burnishing.



Nitta was known for his heroic feats.  Once, he explored a cavern of Mt Fuji, where the Goddess of Mercy appeared to him.  This print was published in 1902.  The first edition of the print was published in 1890 by Sasaki Toyokichi.  

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. 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 nature. 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.