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Yoshitoshi, Tsukioka

The son of a Tokyo physician, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 – 1892) 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. He also studied under Yosai and was adopted by the Tsukioka family.

As modernization pushed ahead following the opening of Japan to the West, Yoshitoshi suffered a nervous breakdown in 1872, living in poverty and ceasing all artistic production. He soon resumed working, adopting the artist name Taiso. 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; he died shortly of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53.

Yoshitoshi’s prints are known for their eerie and imaginative nature. 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.