Welcome to the second part of the Toshidama Gallery exhibition, The Fighting Spirit in Japanese Prints Part II. The new selection opens on the 20th of August and will be available for six weeks. Perhaps the print that most accurately describes the often remorseful attitude of Edo males to brutal combat is the intensely observed Yoshitoshi, Selection of One Hundred Warriors: Aizu Kōmon Kagekatsu Examining a Head of 1868. The print places us in the very heart of the 1868 revolution amid the bloody violence of the struggle for change.
We have included imaginary portraits of military leaders and fighters from history as well as those portraits of actors in the role of figures from history, such as Kunisada’s striking portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro VII in Shibaraku! from 1850. Aside from military men there are the characters from the kabuki stage - violent magicians such as the outstanding portrait of Kataoka Ichizo I standing next to a gigantic snake in Keisei Somewake Tazuma from 1854 - a reminder of the outlandish stage effects that dominated productions of nineteenth century kabuki. That print by Hirosada is a great companion to another Hirosada, the overwhelmingly brilliant four sheet chuban of the same play also from 1854.
Three tremendous Toshikata triptychs from the end of the century display the extraordinary achievements of Meiji printmakers. Whilst we also feature two scarce theatre triptychs by the great Kuniyoshi - his kabuki prints being very few and nowadays hard to find.
We hope you enjoy browsing the selection and find something you enjoy. Do visit the Toshidama Gallery Wordpress Blog where you can find essays from previous exhibitions. We invite you to sign up to our mailing list and receive our monthly newsletter advertising new selections and offering 10% - 50% discounts on exhibitions.
I hope that you enjoy the current selection.
Director, Toshidama Gallery