Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-92)
'The Retainer Samanosuke on a Moor at Night'
From the series 'One Hundred Japanese and Chinese Tales'
Nishiki-e (brocade print)
Ôban size Signature: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga
Censorship seal: Ushi ni (February 1865) aratame
Museum no. E.14180-1886
The print is based on the story of Akechi Mitsuhide's retainer Akechi Samanosuke. Learning that his friend's daughter is being held by a fox monster, young Samanosuke fights the fox and saves the girl. The print has been embellished by means of a technique known as shômen-zuri or 'surface printing'.
The print, which had to be completely dry, was placed face up and burnished with a smooth hard implement so that the areas in contact with the raised parts of the block took on a distinctive sheen.
Yoshitoshi was a talented pupil of Kuniyoshi. He had a troubled mind, resulting in prints depicting excesses of violence, blood and gore, which were consequently repressed by the authorities. The composition of his prints is often striking and dramatic.
This print can be found in Prints and Drawings Study Room box TOPIC JP1