Yoshitoshi's Strange Tales

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Hotei Publishing, 2005 - Art - 160 pages
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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 series 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 Thirty-Six Strange Things (Shinken sanjurokkaisen) of 1889-92 illustrates stories from Japan's rich heritage of legends in more serene and objective ways. The book opens with a study of Japanese ghost prints and analysis of Yoshitoshi's changing treatments of the genre, and reproduces three rare paintings by the artist. This is Yoshitoshi at his most whimsical and imaginative.

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Contents

Contents
7
One Hundred Tales of Japan and China
28
New Forms of ThirtySix Strange Things
82
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

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.

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