Japanese Prints @ St. Kate's: Selections from the Archives & Special Collections at St. Catherine University

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

TSUKIOKA Yoshitoshi  月岡芳年

Alternate Names: Gyokuo (玉桜), Gyokuoro (玉桜楼), Kaisai (魁斎), Ikkaisai (一魁斎), Taiso (大蘇), Sokatei (咀華亭), Tsukioka (月岡), Yonejiro (米次郎)

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi started his artistic journey under Utagawa Kuniyoshi, a leading printmaker in Edo (present-day Tokyo). Before his greatest success, Yoshitoshi suffered through depressive states rooted in the political unrest and general instability that led up to the Meiji Restoration of 1868. These unsettling changes mixed with the death of his teacher in 1861 left Yoshitoshi uninspired and impoverished. He later gained momentum in 1866 when he created the gruesome print series Twenty-eight Murders with Verse, a project that continued for two years. This series underpinned Yoshitoshi’s coming success, which was based on his ability to update the imagery and composition of woodblock prints while sustaining the ukiyo-e style. His work epitomized the nostalgic emotions of the Meiji period and is often described as the last boom of ukiyo-e in the Meiji era.

Artist Listing,” The Lavenberg Collection of Prints.

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