Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, Guden Toku Scares a Group of Gamblers, Postal News

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1839-1892)
Title: Guden Toku Revives after His Funeral and Terrifies a Group of Gamblers
Series title: Postal News
Publisher: Kinshodo
Date: 1875 - 1876
Size: 36 x 23.6 cm
Condition: Slightly trimmed, some parts oxidized.

After a period of financial difficulties, Yoshitoshi's commissions gradually increased in the 1870s. Newspapers began to flourish with the Meiji restoration and over seventy newspapers of some description existed by 1873 when censorship on reporting about current events softened. In 1875 Yoshitoshi was asked to design prints for The Postal Newspaper which ended up being hugely successful and did much for the newspaper sales. The sensational news stories provided a rich source of material for the artist's designs, from the scandalous to the tragic. This series is the perfect example of Yoshitoshi's transition from traditional compositions to a Western technique of expression, often more realistic. As part of a newspaper, the designs offer a valuable insight into daily life in the Meiji period.

In this print, a man called Guden Toku has revived after his own funeral and walks like a zombie towards a group of gambling men, who are terrified. Toku wears a 'hitaikakushi', a white piece of triangular paper or cloth worn on the head by ghosts in Japanese folklore. It is said that he turned in the money the gamblers left behind to the police who awarded it to him in recognition of his honesty.

More Information
Print Format Oban (Vertical)
Artist Name Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Title Guden Toku Revives after His Funeral and Terrifies a Group of Gamblers
Subject Others
Dimensions 36 x 23.6 cm
Condition Report Slightly trimmed, some parts oxidized.