Welcome to the current selection of Japanese woodblock prints at the Toshidama Gallery. The theme for the current exhibition is that of men… the stereotypes that populate the woodblock prints of the nineteenth century. We are living in a period of intense debate about gender - what it means to be male or female or to be neither of those things. So here are the classic masculine archetypes, the heroic samurai of Kuniyoshi’s Kumagae Jiro Naozane, from the Series Mirror of Our Country's Military Excellence of 1845, or the tragic samurai Honma Suketada, avenging his father’s death and writing a poem on a gate post with his finger dipped in his blood. We are showing one of the great Kuniyoshi triptychs, Soga Juro Fighting with Nitta Shiro Tadatsune in Pouring Rain from 1842, sadly in poor condition but at an outstanding price!
We have some renegade heroes… for example Yoshikatsu’s outstanding portrait of Nakamura Utaemon in the Role of Oniwakamaru from 1838. Exiles are represented as well with the superb Yoshikuni print of Onoe Kikugoro III as Kanshoji from 1828, running with a plum blossom in his mouth, reminiscent of the Primavera.
I suppose the outstanding print has to be Yoshitora’s Okubi-e Portrait of the Actor, Nakamura Shikan, crucially, from 1869. I have written about it in the Featured Print section of the site. It is an important piece which represents a vital bridge between the great okubi series of Kunisada and that of Kunichika a decade later.
We very much hope that you enjoy the selection, that there is something here that you should like to own and that you enjoy the extensive catalogue notes and blog entries. The Toshidama Gallery blogs are among the most widely read reviews and articles on ukiyo-e anywhere on the web. There is a 10% discount for newsletter subscribers on all prints in this selection, applicable at the checkout. For your voucher code, please subscribe to the newsletter and when prompted to at the checkout, type in the voucher code to have 10% reduced from the total.