Skip to content

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi – The Dancing Pot at Ninnaji Temple


In stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
SKU: MLS2023018 Category: Tags: ,

“Sketches by Yoshitoshi” (Yoshitoshi Ryakuga) is a humorous series of small woodblock prints designed by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and originally issued in pairs. The prints were inspired by Japanese folklore and stories from kabuki theatre. In this print Yoshitoshi conveys the impression of children and an older man watching a monstrous looming shadow through a paper shoji screen. This story is known as “The dancing pot at Ninnaji temple”, or “The cauldron dance”. Set in a Kyoto temple, it is based on a story by Yoshida Kenko (1283–1350) of a night of revelry during which an inebriated monk put a three-legged bronze pot on his head and danced around happily until he realized it was stuck. He was later released from the pot, but at the expense of his nose and ears, and not before terrorizing many of the inhabitants of the temple.

The Woodblock Print

This chuban-sized woodblock is in fine condition; the print has been backed, and at some time was folded in half, perhaps within a book(?). The color is very good, no margins as expected based on the limited other examples we can find. There is a strange red bleed in the upper left quadrant. A rarely seen and fun print by Yoshitoshi.

About the Artist

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.


Yoshitoshi, Tsukioka


(B) Fine Condition








Funazu Chūjirō


Chuban (7"x10")



Subscribe To Our Newsletter
New subscribers receive a 10% off coupon. Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.