Woodblock print, 27.5 x 21.25 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. At the center of this abstract print is a fascinating large red shape, with black markings on it, placed against a brown moire background. It is totally ambiguous. Could it be a standing figure, like a primeval beast or raging humanoid, or is it more like an emblem or pendant? Or is it simply a visual representation of the mental state, intention? Along with realistic prints, Toshi made many abstract prints with shapes like this in various sizes and colors.
Photo zinc pl ate, ca 11 x 16 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. Cartoon-like drawing of dogs riding horses and elephants with a military vehicle in the left corner and a red seal in the lower right corner. Toshi was 5 years old, a child afflicted with polio, when he made a sketch book with drawings like this. This page was photographed, transferred to a zinc plate and printed. While not realizing it, Toshi's drawing echoes the satirical animal cartoons of important people in 12th century classical Japanese art. It is possible to trace Toshi's career as an artist by means of this and other prints. Untitled (Rabbits in Battle), soclaa001040, represents his sketch book drawing when he was 5 years old; Raicho, soclaa001105, with considerable detail was his earliest self-carved and self-printed work at age 19; White Plum in the Farmyard, soclaa001106, marked a new beginning in his work; and Peaceful Wild Animals, soclaa001124, one of his largest prints, was made when he was 63 years old.
Woodblock print, 14.75 x 16.75 inches. Black and white lion with large mane, sitting on a rock outcropping. This black and white image has been taken from the key block used for the larger, full color woodblock print, Peaceful Wild Animals, 1974, by Toshi. It shows the incredibly fine, detailed carving Toshi was able to do. The lines for the fur, for example, have been carved in the wood in a way that delineates the shape of the muscles in the body and the light reflected off of them. These three images of African lions and lionesses show the artist's special affection for animal life.
Woodblock Print, 10.25 x 7.5 inches. A 1958 cityscape of the well-known Ginza shopping area in Tokyo, with cars and a streetcar in the dark gray foreground and with a horizon of skyscrapers against a pink sky. Dawn might also suggest Tokyo's amazing recovery 13 years after the end of the Second World War. The style Toshi used - straight horizontal, vertical and wavy lines - is unique to this print. It would have made an attractive New Year's gift for American buyers of Yoshida family prints. Many American soldiers were still stationed in Japan at that time, and many of them visited the Yoshida Studio, bought prints, and began collections that still remain intact at the present time.
Woodblock print, 14.75 x 16.75 inches. Another black and white lioness, with head down on a rock outcropping. This black and white image has been taken from the key block used for the larger, full color woodblock print, Peaceful Wild Animals, 1974, by Toshi. It shows the incredibly fine, detailed carving Toshi was able to do. The lines for the fur, for example, have been carved in the wood in a way that delineates the shape of the muscles in the body and the light reflected off of them. For a carver to do this without additional shading, shows great skill and artistry. The complete full color print shows all three animals together on a rock in the vast African savannah. This extra large print was carved from a single block of cherry wood. St.Olaf College has the entire large black and white key block impression, slightly cropped, in its collection.
Blue brown red, nude woman in right corner. . A subway train, underground, is arriving at the station Yarakusho, having a large advertisement showing a nude woman. Black, gray, blue, brown, and red. The implication is sexual. The overtness is a challenge to both Japanese and Western sensitivity. Noboru made this print while being a student at the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo. Back again in Japan, after a number of years in the United States, this seems to be evidence of the artist's internal pain resulting from changing from Japanese culture to Western culture and back again to Japanese culture. This clash of cultures became the main subject matter in Noboru's career.
Original woodblock print, 13.5 x 11 inches, attributed to Katsushiki Hokusai, a revered and prolific Japanese artist. Many different crabs against a light blue background. Hokusai was one of the most famous artists of his time. He was exceedingly deft in portraying his contemporaries in their everyday tasks. This led him to create a series of woodblock printed books called his drawings, his manga. It is a classic text book, with many images on each page, showing a variety of people or things, similar to the common crabs here.
Woodblock print, 14.5 x 9.5 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. The print presents a striking contrast between a typical Japanese stone tower and the delicate cherry blossoms hanging down on slender branches. Toshi himself experienced a new springtime in his art with this print and others in 1951.
Woodblock print, 9.75 x 14.5 inches. Cherry blossoms in early spring in the foreground, a bridge over a stream with figures and buildings, and in the background a spa,trees, and mountains - all in delicate muted green, pink and brown. The artist captures what, for any Japanese person, is a nostalgic moment in an ideal setting. Unseen here are clouds of war gathering. Hiroshi was historically the most important artist in the Yoshida family. About 1900 and following, Americans bought many of his watercolors and, after the war, many of his prints. Yoshida Hiroshi is a second generation Yoshida family artist, who established the Yoshida Studio in Tokyo. The Yoshida family of artists began with Yoshida KasaburÃ´ (1861-1894), then next Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950) and his wife Fujio (1887-1987), then their sons Toshi (1911-1995) with his wife Kiso (1919-2005) and Hodaka (1926-1995) with his wife Chizuko (1924- ) and daughter Ayomi (1958- ).