Yoshitoshi

Apr 30, 1839 - Jun 9, 1892

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was a Japanese printmaker.
Yoshitoshi has widely been recognized as the last great master of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock printing and painting. He is also regarded as one of the form's greatest innovators. His career spanned two eras – the last years of Edo period Japan, and the first years of modern Japan following the Meiji Restoration. Like many Japanese, Yoshitoshi was interested in new things from the rest of the world, but over time he became increasingly concerned with the loss of many aspects of traditional Japanese culture, among them traditional woodblock printing.
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 Western mass reproduction methods like photography and lithography. Nonetheless, in a Japan that was turning away from its own past, he almost singlehandedly managed to push the traditional Japanese woodblock print to a new level, before it effectively died with him.
His life is perhaps best summed up by John Stevenson:
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The Spirit of the Deceased Yūgao Entwined in Moonflower Vines, based on the print “The Lady of the Evening Faces,” from the series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi: Genji Yūgao no maki)

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Murasaki Shikibu at Ishiyamadera Temple, based on the print “The Moon at Ishiyama,” from the series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi: Ishiyama no tsuki)

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Looking sleepy - The appearance of a courtesan of the Meiji era (1888)

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Looking as if she is waking up - The appearance of a maiden of the Koka era (1888)

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