Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-92), one of the great ukiyo-e masters, was an unusually progressive artist for his time. Having studied under Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), his style is believed to have been later influenced by the techniques of Western artworks, which were then being brought Japan. At first sight, many of Yoshitoshi's prints appear conventional, but their use of perspective, vivid coloring, attention to detail and realism in character portrayal and composition make them surprisingly unusual examples of ukiyo-e, which favored flat and more symbolic portrayals of subjects.
Around 250 Yoshitoshi prints and paintings are on display for this show, which focuses on his musha-e (samurai art), bijinga (pictures of women), yōkai (supernatural beings of Japanese folklore) and historically themed works. (Yuki Yamauchi)