Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 -1892)


Yoshitoshi is generally considered the last great master of the Japanese woodblock print
(ukiyo-e)—and by some, one of the great innovative and creative geniuses of that artistic field.
During his life, he produced a large number of prints,which included many series of prints, many of great merit, as well as numerous diptychs, triptychs, etc.

His career spanned two eras - the last years of the old feudal Japan, and the first years of the new modern Japan. Like many Japanese, while interested in the new things from the rest of the world, over time he became increasingly concerned with the loss of many outstanding things from the traditional Japan, among them the traditional woodblock print.

By the end of his career, Yoshitoshi was in an almost single-handed struggle against time and technology. As he worked on in the old manner, Japan was adopting the mass reproduction methods of the West, like photography and lithography. Nonetheless, in a Japan that was turning away from its own past, he almost single-handedly managed to push the traditional Japanese woodblock print to a new level, before it effectively died with him.

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