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Yoshitoshi Taiso
Yoshitoshi's Thirty-Six Ghosts

John Stevenson with an introduction by Donald Richie, Weatherhill/Blue Tiger, New York /HongKong, FIRST EDITION 1983. 10.5 " x 14.5" tall. Black embossed cloth with dust cover. 96 pages, illustrated with 36 finely reproduced color plates. In very good used condition with minor flaws.

Yoshitoshi Tsukioka was the most original woodblock print artist of the late nineteenth century in Japan. His bizarre designs, products of the profound cultural shock that Japan experienced on opening her doors to the West after centuries of isolation, strike a responsive chord today as we too struggle with excessively rapid change.

The culmination of Yoshitoshi's career is the series reproduced in this volume: Shinkei Sanjurokkaisen, or New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts. In these prints Yoshitoshi illustrated the thirty-six Japanese tales that fascinated him most - from charming folk story to bloody saga of revenge. The prints reproduced in the book are from a set of gorgeous first impressions, all reproduced in full color and nearly their actual size. Opposite each plate appears the story on which the design is based — intriguing both in itself and for what it reveals of the Japanese psyche.

An essay on Yoshitoshi and his times explores the Japanese tradition of ghost stories, Yoshitoshi's personal encounters with ghosts, and the tumultuous period in which he lived. A commentary on Yoshitoshi's life's work and an explanation of his artistic techniques enhance the appreciation of these remarkable prints, and an engaging introduction by renowned Japanologist Donal Richie probes the nature of Japanese ghosts and contrasts them with their Western counterparts. An exceptional copy of a scarce Yoshitoshi title. Out of print, VERY RARE.