Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
Essays by Yoshitoshi: Asahina Saburo Yoshihide
(Ikkai zuihitsu: Asahina Saburo Yoshihide)
signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu, with publisher's seal Dobashi Masadaya han (Masadaya Heikichi of Seiedo), ca. 1873
oban tate-e 14 1/4 by 9 7/8 in., 36.2 by 25.2 cm
Yoshitoshi explores the otherworldliness or alternate dimension found through the looking glass as a portal with a menagerie of grotesque visages before an enormous glass mirror framed in red lacquer with this 1873 composition depicting a chaotic scene from the farcical kabuki play Asahina. At center, the burly (and beloved) figure of Asahina (based on the 12th-13th century historical Asahina Saburo Yoshihide), grasps the neck and beard of Emma-O, the King of Hell, who writhes in agony while a host of demons with distorted faces scream in protest. After subduing Emma-O, Asahina would force the demon to show him the path to heaven.
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Five - Yoshitoshi, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, 2017, cat. no. 48
Roger Keyes, Courage and Silence, 1983, p. 395, no. 280.9
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's Thirty-Six Ghosts, 1983, p. 16
Eric van den Ing & Robert Schaap, Beauty and Violence, 1992, p. 111, no. 23.9
James King & Yuriko Iwakiri, Japanese Warrior Prints: 1646-1905, 2007, pp. 46-47, 109 (re: story)
Yuriko Iwakiri, Yoshitoshi, 2014, p. 68, no. 88
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site last updated
March 8, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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