Yoshitoshi, Taiso, 1839-1892

N.: Tsukioka (originally Yoshioka) Kinzaburo. F.N.: Yonejiro. Go: Gyokuoro, Ikkaisai, Kaisai, Oju, Sokatei, Yoshitoshi. (After 1873 changed his family anme to Taiso.) Ukiyo-e printmaker and leading ukiyo-e print artist of the Meiji Era. Lived in Tokyo. Pupil of Utagawa Kuniyoshi; also studied with Kikuchi Yosai and was adopted by Tsukioka Sessai. In the 1870s worked as a newspaper illustrator. Author of many series of prints depicting bijin, aspects of the moon, historical heroes. In 1887 illustrated Ukigumo (The Drifting Cloud) by Futabatei Shimei, regarded as Japan’s first modern novel. Died mentally deranged. Very popular: one of last of true ukiyo-e tradition. Made prints of historical and heroic subjects as well as scenes of contemporary life and its increasing Westernization. Best work from 1873 until his death; general work uneven and sometimes even bad; a mixture of ukiyo-e yamato-e, and an ever increasing Western influence. An artist of considerable imagination; his drawings particularly fine. His tremendous popularity could explain the posthumous dates on some of his prints. Taken in whole, or in part from: Lane, Richard. Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print. Konecky and Konecky: New York. 1978. Roberts, Laurance P. A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer. Weatherhill, Inc: New York. 1986.


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