Welcome to the Toshidama Gallery exhibition, The Fighting Spirit in Japanese Prints. The new selection opens on the 9th of July and will be available for six weeks. The most spectacular of the prints is a tremendous intact five sheet print by an artist widely considered to be the greatest master of panorama scenes in Japan, Utagawa Sadahide. It is a very impressive achievement, measuring nearly 1.2m, five full-sized sheets showing Hideyoshi’s fleet departing for the intended conquest of Korea.
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 Arashi Kichisaburo as Kato Kiyomasa, a rare print from the well regarded Kisokaido Road series. Aside from military men, there are boys taking revenge on their father’s killers as in the tremendous portrait of Soga no Hakoômaru by Yoshitoshi. We show Yoshitoshi again in an early and stunning triptych of Hideyoshi’s advance into Korea, again, a rarely seen and sought after print; and a late print from 1896 by Kiyosada renders Ichikawa Danjûrô IX as Narukami Shônin in Narukami - a tour de force of woodblock printing in almost ‘as new’ condition.
We have chosen a number of Osaka theatre prints, notably Hirosada’s Actors in "A Courtesan, Honour with Two Swords", from 1851… a print almost literally dripping with blood; and a stunning ghost print also by Hirosada showing the Ichikawa Ebizo V as the Ghost of Natora. An early hybrid print of the Chushingura, as a play, but looking like a real fight is Toyokuni’s phenomenal rendering of western perspective, also outstanding is Kuniyoshi’s treatment of the same scene… a rare and valuable print immensely under priced.
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