Postal News

Yoshitoshi's 'Postal News ( Yūbin hōchi shinbun ) 1875-1876'


This page catalogs all known prints in Yoshitoshi's series 'Postal News (Yūbin hōchi shinbun) 1875-1876'.

The Yūbin hōchi shinbun was a newspaper founded in June of 1873. In 1875, Yoshitoshi was hired to illustrate a wide variety of news subjects in full color. These prints were added as supplements, or furoku, for subscribers. This variety of print is referred to as Newspaper Nishiki-e" (新 聞 錦 絵, shinbun nishiki-e). The publisher of the Yūbin hōchi shinbun was likely motivated by the success of his competitor, the Tokyo Daily News (Tōkyō Nichinichi Shinbun) where Yoshitoshi's rival, Yoshiiku, was employed as an artist.

The prints feature a diverse variety of subjects - political, crime, public interest, and ghost stories are examples. The only known published triptych in this series, #62 below, is a spectacular print that illustrates the Sukiyachō fire of 11/29/1876 which left 20,000 people either homeless or dead.

Please see William Wetherall's comprehensive newspaper nishiki-e site at for excellent information on this and other series.

Technical details

Previous cataloguings

Listed in Keyes' thesis:
	Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and
		Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Cinncinnati, 1982
where it appears as series #315;
	Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap, "Beauty and Violence: Japanese
		Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Havilland, Eindhoven, 1992

where it appears as series #25 (pg. 51, 113-114);



We use the Keyes numbers to order the prints below. The two additional known prints are added to the end.

The Prints

To see a larger image of any print, please click on the thumbnail.

    Title page for series (promotional flyer) - designed by Toshinao.  
No. 425a. Sudden police raid on unlicensed protitutes  
No. 425b. Miyamoto Hanako, a female member of the Gekikenkai, chastening a drunkard at Hashimotocho  
No 447. Triplets born to a farmer and his wife in Ono village, Mino Province.  
No 449b. Miki Toyokichi educating himself and fellow prisoners.  
No. 449a. The flower arranger Sugihara Mino astonished that her arrangement of plum blossoms is bearing fruit.  
No. 452. A rich brewer in Kamezaki celebrating the discovery of a woman's G-string found on Mt. Fuji which brought good fortune to his house.  
No. 463. The geisha Umekichi urging the student Nakajima Seibi to leave her and return to his studies.  
No. 466a. Nishimura, the celebrated dealer in Fukagawa, exposing the imposter who tried to sell him statuettes of the god Daikoku in the autumn of 1874.  
No. 466b. A police patrolman prevents a rape in a graveyard.  
No. 471. Kino stabbing her husband with a fruit knife after discovering his affair with her sister.  
No. 472. A child of ten shows her wisdom by covering the head of a rearing horse with her jacket to calm him.  
No: 481 The old man delivering a proposal to the geisha Oiro who was good-natured enough to politely refuse him.  
No. 484 The mother of the real Chiyokichi identifies her son in front of police and resolves a case of mistaken identity.  
No. 491 The farmer Ota Yaemon and his son Fusajiro sever and exchange their little fingers before the departure of the son to war.  
No. 501 The prostitute Osai of Shiogama rescuing a Tokyo merchant from a group of gamblers to whom he had lost his money and clothing.  
No. 507. The indecorous courtship of a 73 year old woman and a 68 year old man.  
No. 508 The child of Horisaka Sahei tied to a rice bale.  
No 513. Kanjiro repels his would-be assassins.  
No 525. Guards recapturing the prisoner Yoshizo after an attempted jail break.  
No 527b. The widow Fuku giving birth on her way to the courthouse with four others for arraignment for theft.  
No 527a. A widower witnesses his wife's ghost nursing their child.  
No 532. Policeman rescuing young woman from being drowned by her brothers who were offended by her delinquent behavior.  
No 551. Matsumoto Ai, a female bonesetter in Osaka, using judo to drive away four ruffians who tried to rape her.  
No 561. The gang rape of Hisazo's girlfriend, Omatsu.  
No 563. Tajima Seitaro murders his young wife when she refuses to return to him.  
#566. Toshima Tomiyo, the loyal wife who did not leave her husband Tomozo, a farmer, even when he contracted leprosy.  
No 568. A group of blind masseurs in Niigata injured by a speeding rickshaw.  
No 571. A wicked foreigner in Nagasaki who refused to pay a prostitute, dropped his gold watch on leaving, and sued the woman for theft.  
No. 576. Police arresting the geisha Ohama and Okin for accidentally injuring an old man while galloping on horseback.  
No. 589a. Guden Toku revives after his funeral and terrifies a group of gamblers.  
No. 589b. The murder of Shin, the teacher's daughter, in Honjo.  
No. 596. A cat interferes in a dog fight and avenges herself against the dog who killed her mother.  
No. 597. The brave policeman Taguchi Naokatsu arresting three burglars singlehandedly.  
No. 600. The wife of Sangoro, the owner of a noodle shop in Kawaguchi, scalds her husband's face with boiling water.  
No. 601. Arai Tokichi hurls a rock at his lover Ohana in a fit of jealousy and strikes her in the groin.  
No. 603. The attentive patrolman Matdui Yasumichi prevents the lovers Kogiku and Kamekichi from commiting double suicide  
No. 614b. The robber Kobayashi Masashichi resisting arrest by three policemen.  
No. 614a. Kodembo no Shoshichi, an Osaka thief, tormented by ghosts.  
No. 617. Two beauties performing the Imayo dance at the Kimpeiro, a house in the Yoshiwara  
No 621. The loyal wife Koto recognises her long-lost husband as a rickshaw driver.  
No 623. Two women of Nojiri who were set upon while travelling, robbed, tied to trees, and eaten by wolves.  
No 628. The heads of two foxes in Nagasaki Prefecture who were decapitated for overdoing their merrymaking in the fields.  
No 643. The death of the bride Mitsue who committed suicide when her old lover importuned her and angered her husband.  
No 645. The Englishman King raping the 13 year old daughter of a wine shop keeper in Shiba.  
No. 647. The suicide of two foreign clerks who embezzled funds from a French bank in Yokohama, but were overtaken by an English ship as they attempted to escape.  
No. 649. The plasterer Toyokichi murdering his mistress Oei and her family in anger at her leaving him.  
No 650. The triple wedding in the family of the farmer Matsunosuke.  
No 651. The Osaka youth who regained his speech after his father's death.  
No 661. Okiyo, the daughter of a gardner in Mukojima, meeting with a foreigner who desired her to be his concubine.  
No 663. The black monster attacking the wife of a carpenter in Karda.  
No. 683 Two amateur prostitutes fighting over a client in Honjo.  
  No. 702 A policeman threatens to arrest the geisha Ofusa of Amanoya on a charge of indecent exposure on a hot summer day.  
  No. 724 A brave old badger at Koishikawa protects its cubs from a dog.  
  No. 729 Saku, a brave and intelligent girl of 13 from Tochigi who was awarded 5 yen by the prefectural office for rescuing a baby from the river.  
  No. 780 Hanshichi, a carpenter of Fukagawa, seizes the ruffian who had abused his daughter and holds him until the police arrive.  
  No. 814 The scion of a rich family driven mad by the priests that had been hired to pray for his recovery.  
  No. 816 A performance by the amazing old midget who was 21 inches tall, drank, sang, and danced, and lived to a ripe old age.  
  No. 832 Large crowds thronging to see the whale exhibited at Fukagawa.  
12/1876 No. 1155. The great fire that began in Sukiyacho 29 November 1876 and burned all night causing tremendous damage.  
12/1876 No. 1144 Maebara Issei standing in a boat and pointing to shore.  
12/1876 No. 1127. The Shinpuren rebellion began in Kumamoto on 24 October 1876 and was suppressed by the following night.  
02/1877 No. 9001. Kumamoto rioters (a print that does not appear to have ever been produced).  



Thanks to (in alphabetical order) xxx, yyy and zzz, who searched for these things across catalogues of sale and show, provided scans of illustrations, translated titles, etc, etc.

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© Copyright 2008-2009 by J. Noel Chiappa and Jason M. Levine