Yamato Shinbun Supplements: no. 553, August 7 1888
signed oju Yoshitoshi ga with artist's seal Yoshitoshi, carver's seal Horiko Enkatsu, censor's mark Teishin-sho ninka (Ministry of Communications authorization), and publisher's date seal Yamato Shinbun, gohyaku-gojusan go foruku, Meiji nijunen, hachigatsu, shichika ([published by] Yamato Shinbun[sha], supplement no. 553, Meiji 21 , August 7)
chuban tate-e 9 1/2 by 7 in., 24 by 17.7 cm
The Meiji Restoration brought with it a major liberalization of journalistic practices. Just as ukiyo-e designs had begun to overtly feature current events following the loosening of restrictions in the late 1860s, the introduction of daily newspapers in 1872 marked a greater expansion of press freedom and provided a much-needed source of commissions for print designers. Taking advantage of a new source of revenue, Yoshitoshi became a frequent contributor to newspapers, starting in 1873 with The Postal Newspaper (Yubin hochi shinbun). He would also contribute to the newspapers Eiri Jiyu and the Jiyu no Tomoshibi before joining the emergent Yamato Shinbun in 1886. The Yamato Shinbun was an upstart daily during a period of innovation in the Japanese newspaper industry. Following its founding in 1886, it gained 20,000 new readers a year, often at the expense of more established papers. Yoshitoshi was likely drawn to the Yamato Shinbun in particular through his friendship with the comic rakugo (storyteller) performer Sanyutei Encho (1839-1900), whose humorous stories in the paper were frequently paired with Yoshitoshi's illustrations. Notably, Marks speculates that the Sasaki Toyokichi was involved with the publication of the Yamato Shinbun as both were located at the same address from 1885 into the late 1890s. Sasaki Toyokichi published Yoshitoshi's series New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts from 1889-1892.
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Five - Yoshitoshi, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, 2017, cat. no. 111
Roger Keyes, Courage and Silence, 1983, pp. 44, 48-49; pp. 472, no. 486; p. 486, no. 504
Shinichi Segi, Yoshitoshi the Splendid Decadent, 1985, p. 52, no. 60
Andreas Marks, Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium, 2011, p. 282, no. 450; p. 360, no. 606
Robert Schaap, Appendix II in Yoshitoshi: Master Pieces of the Ed Fries Collection, 2011, p. 166, no. 89
Andreas Marks, "Meiji-Period War Prints and Their Publishers" in Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan, 2016, p. 25
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