Following a brief period of apparent inactivity for the artist for the majority of 1870, in which only one single actor print is recorded (Schaap 2011, no. 40), and 1871, in which he designed the scarce Boshin War series of Eight Views of Warriors in the Provinces (cat. nos. 36-38) published in the 1st lunar month, followed by the Tokyo restaurant series in the 9th lunar month when he seemed to allow his students freedom to produce an uncharacteristic bijin series, Yoshitoshi returned to his design work with gusto in a burst of energy with the production of this self-referential series, Essays by Yoshitoshi (Ikkai zuihitsu) which was published by Masadaya Heikichi (ca. 1869-1875; Seieido) starting in the 12th lunar month of 1872 and ceasing four months later. Ikkai was an early name for the artist, and this series is the first but not last time that the artist would include his name in a series title. While the figures are all historical, their stories are often based on legend and may depict episodes from novels, plays, and folklore if not historical record. To date there are thirteen recorded designs; however, it is not known how many were planned or produced. The somewhat scarce series is distinguished by the stretching oni (devil) incorporated along the edge of a banner-shaped title cartouche.

Shima Sakon slays Saito Dihachi at Horagato ge Pass
Zhang Fei
Kaoyo Gozen
Yodo no Kimi
Asahina Saburo Yoshihide
Soga Brothers Entering an Enemy Camp in the Rain

Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
May 6, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475