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 Updated September 6, 2007
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Yoshitoshi Wood Block Prints

Tsukoika Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) made his first wood block print around the time that Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Japan. His prints of heroes ranged from contemporary actors and Tokyo fireman to legendary figures such as Kintaro (The Golden Boy, right). Some of his prints are humorous such as an octopus unwilling to be sold at a market place. Many are scenes from battles or horror stories.

Yoshitoshi's print of Songoku (Yoshitoshi prints courtesy Dover Publications, Inc.)

Yoshitoshi's print of Kintaro Because his prints were relatively inexpensive and mass produced compared to other contemporary forms of art, he was influential Japanese popular culture. Many of the subjects he treated recur in anime and manga, from peeping at outdoor baths to the Songoku (The Monkey King, left). A collection of his prints were exhibited at San Francisco's Asian Art Museum as Yoshitoshi's Strange Tales: Woodblock Prints from Edo to Meiji in the summer of 2007 to the delight of many of us at No-Name Anime.

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