Yoshitoshi's Strange Tales
Taiso Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) was the most popular woodblock artist of his day. Customers lined up on the day of publication for his prints of historical characters and beautiful women. His career, which introduced subtle psychological observation to the artistic and representational world of ukiyo-e, straddled the tumultuous late Edo and early Meiji periods. Yoshitoshi was fascinated by the supernatural, and some of his best work concerns ghosts, monsters, and charming animal transmutations. Yoshitoshi's Strange Tales presents two series that focus on his depictions of the weird and magical world of the transformed. The first dates from the beginning and the second from the end of the artist's abbreviated career, encapsulating his artistic development. One Hundred Tales of Japan and China (Wakan hyaku monogatari) of 1865 is based on a game in which people told short scary ghost tales in a darkened room, extinguishing a candle as each tale ended. New Forms of 36 Strange Things (Shinken sanjurokkaisen) of 1889-92 tells stories from Japan's rich heritage of legends in a more serene and objective manner. The book opens with an illustrated study of Japanese ghost prints and analysis of Yoshitoshi's changing treatments of the genre. This is Yoshitoshi at his most whimsical and imaginative.
- Hardback | 160 pages
- 251.5 x 302.3 x 22.9mm | 1,315.43g
- 01 Dec 2005
- KIT Publishers
- Hotei Publishing,The Netherlands
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 91 colour illustrations
About John Stevenson
After graduating from Oxford at the age of twenty, John Stevenson worked in the USA and Nigeria. He lived for twenty years in Asia and has written on several areas of Asian art. He is the author "Vietnamese Ceramics: A Separate Tradition; Irrawaddy: Benevolent River of Burma; Masami Teraoka: The Floating World Comes of Age; Japanese Kite Prints" and a number of books on the work of Yoshitoshi, including "Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon." He has served as acting curator of Chinese art at Seattle Art Museum, and now works in book production.
"Yoshitoshi's Strange Tales is an artbook of woodblock prints by Taiso Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), one of the most poplular Japnese woodblock artists of his time, especially well-known for his works concerning supernatural events, ghosts, monsters, and animal transformations. Focusing particularly upon two series of Yoshitoshi's woodblock prints that illustrated the fantastic world of the transformed, Yoshitoshi's Strange Tles pairs a full-page color image of each selected print with a page-long description of the print's history, and a brief summary of the folk story that the print illustrates, written by Asian art expert John Stevenson. An esoteric and eye-catching addition to artbook shelves and especiallly recommended for connoisseurs of 19th-century Japanese art" --Wisconisin Book Watch