The series dates from toward the end of Yoshitoshi's career, when he was about 43 years old. It thus dates from only a few years before his well-known masterpieces such as his great series "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon" (1885-1892), and "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" (often called simply "Thirty-Six Ghosts") (1889-1892).
For the subjects of this series, Yoshitoshi drew on Japanese folklore, history, and the Kabuki theatre; most were then presented in a comic style, often with an amusing twist, in the lightly ironic style known as mitate.
The prints were issued in pairs, two on each ōban sheet; they are listed below in their pairs, as published (i.e. 1 and 2 were paired on a single sheet, as were 3 and 4, etc.)
The series was popular, and several re-issues are known, although no detail has yet been worked out as to which was the earliest. One difference that can be pointed out is that the series title, printed in a cartouche on the top print of each pair, is missing in some impressions.
Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892", Cinncinnati, 1982where it appears as series #446 (pg. 448); he listed 40 prints in the series. The next listing was in:
Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap, "Beauty and Violence: Japanese Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892", Havilland, Eindhoven, 1992where it appears as series #42 (pg. 127).
Keyes listed 40 prints in this series. We use the Keyes numbers to order the prints below; the prints in the series do not appear to have any numbers on them.
This page (and list) is not necessarily complete; the series is not well documented, and there may be yet other prints which have not yet come to our attention. If you know of any prints from this series which aren't listed here, or have either i) information about any errors on the page, ii) better images than the ones below, or iii) missing information about individual prints, please let us know.
"Gojō" is now normally written with the second kanji
開化 之 達摩
Kaika no Daruma
Daruma of enlightenment
Gojō Bridge is the location of the famous confrontation between
(shown here) and
金太郎 獲 鯉魚
Kintarō e koi-gyo
Kintarō seizes the carp
The Battle at Uji Bridge
応挙 の 幽霊
Ghost Painting Coming to Life in the Studio of Painter Ōkyo
Sesshū Drawing Rats, Which Come to Life
Yorimasa Awaiting the Nue
天狗 之 世界
Tengu Messengers Colliding in Mid-Air
The Dancing Pot at Ninna-ji Temple
鍾馗 之 夜這
Shōki Creeping Up on a Sleeping Demon
Soga Gorō Riding on Horseback to Ōiso
Benkei at the Ataka Barrier
三保 の 羽衣
xx no xx
Angel with the Heavenly Cloak at Mio
Ri Haku xx
The Poet Li Po in a Drunken Sleep
Songokū Creating an Army from His Fur
Jō and Uba at Takasago
Sorori Shinzaemon and Hideyoshi
Children Blowing up Hotei's Belly and Painting It Like Candy
Momotarō Goes to Devil's Island
Fuwa Banzaemon in a Tanzen Costume
An Octopus Seizes a Pearl Diver at Shido Bay
The Thunder God Bathing
Nichiren in Exile at Sado
The Courtesan Jigokudayū Sees Herself as a Skeleton in the Mirror of Hell
Empress Jingū Fishing for a Cat
Honda Yoshimitsu Discovers the Buddha
Bats in the Fifth Act of Chūshingura
Benkei and Others Around a Bell
Tadamori and the Oil Thief
Prince Narihira and Nijō no Tsubone at the Fuji River
Raikō Enters the Treasure Mountain
Shiei Riding the Carp over the Sea
Ono no Tōfū Watching a Frog
Catching Kittens with Bonito
随筆 - 豪傑
Kumonryū Shishin, a Hero of the Suikoden
Onkō Breaks the Pot and Saves the Child
Okame Laughing at the Shadow of a Mushroom
Fukurokuju Writing with His Head
子 の 日小松
Pulling Pine Shoots on the Day of the Rat
Urashima Returning on the Turtle
who sold a complete set of this series, from which the images here are drawn.
"Gojō" is now normally written with the second kanji 条.