One very common kind of seal found on most Yoshitoshi prints is a date seal; they are described in detail below.
A rarer seal is a price seal; an example is given further below.
The character numbers, which identify the characters in the seal, are given from:
Andrew N. Nelson, "The Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary", Charles E. Tuttle, Rutland, 1974which is a standard Japanese dictionary.
After 1872, a variety of date indications are found, but they all use the
Beginning in 1876 prints were required to carry the exact day. month and year
of publication. If a print is seen which omits the date and/or month, this is
probably a later printing, after the initial one had sold out.
Table of Sample Date Seals
Censor with zodiac date
1464 13 #2
Self, pp. 188-193
The seal reads: Aratame (on the left) Ox (right top) 2 (right bottom);
since it dates from the period 1859-1872, when this particular type of seal
was in use, reference to the
table of zodiacal years
shows that the Ox year in question must be 1865.
2110 2528 #11 188 (right) #1 2169 #4 2097 (left) 1385 ?? (center)
Stevenson, pg. 68
The seal reads: Meiji 11 year, 1st month, 4th day;
since the Emperor Meiji's first year was 1868, this is from 1878.
The meaning of the two characters in the center is still uncertain.
Table of Sample Price Seals
548 #2 4851 #5 823
The seal reads: KA/atai 2 SEN 5 RIN. Ka (價)
means 'price'; the sen (銭, written
here with 㦮) and rin (厘) were introduced in 1871 in the monetary reforms
of the Meiji Restoration; a rin was one-tenth of a sen, which
was one-hundredth of a yen. The sen and rin have now
fallen out of use due to inflation, particularly after World War II.
Beginning in 1876 prints were required to carry the exact day. month and year of publication. If a print is seen which omits the date and/or month, this is probably a later printing, after the initial one had sold out.