Yoshitsuya, Utagawa

Utagawa Yoshitsuya (1822 – 1866) was a pupil of Utagawa Kuniyoshi and became a notable ukiyo-e printmaker and illustrator of the 19th century. Growing up during the late Edo period, Yoshitsuya experienced the sharp decline of the political stability that defined the early Edo period. As the 1840s brought famine and economic despair, the Shogunate introduced the Tenpo Reforms (1841-1842), edicts banning the depiction of actors and courtesans in ukiyo-e in an effort to remove the “luxury” from printmaking. Yoshitsuya’s work focuses mainly on triumphant warriors of Japanese history and legend; ome of his noted series include “54 Battle Stories by Hideyoshi”, presenting 54 scenes of Japan’s 16th-century unifier, and “The Scenic Places of Tokaido”, which he completed with a group of top artists and publishers of his time.