Tsukioka Yoshitoshi Asahina Saburo Yoshihide

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Essays by Yoshitoshi: Asahina Saburo Yoshihide
(Ikkai zuihitsu: Asahina Saburo Yoshihide)

signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu, with publisher's seal Dobashi Masadaya han (Masadaya Heikichi of Seiedo), ca. 1873

oban tate-e 14 1/4 by 9 7/8 in., 36.2 by 25.2 cm

Yoshitoshi explores the otherworldliness or alternate dimension found through the looking glass as a portal with a menagerie of grotesque visages before an enormous glass mirror framed in red lacquer with this 1873 composition depicting a chaotic scene from the farcical kabuki play Asahina. At center, the burly (and beloved) figure of Asahina (based on the 12th-13th century historical Asahina Saburo Yoshihide), grasps the neck and beard of Emma-O, the King of Hell, who writhes in agony while a host of demons with distorted faces scream in protest. After subduing Emma-O, Asahina would force the demon to show him the path to heaven.

Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Five - Yoshitoshi, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, 2017, cat. no. 48

Roger Keyes, Courage and Silence, 1983, p. 395, no. 280.9
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's Thirty-Six Ghosts, 1983, p. 16
Eric van den Ing & Robert Schaap, Beauty and Violence, 1992, p. 111, no. 23.9
James King & Yuriko Iwakiri, Japanese Warrior Prints: 1646-1905, 2007, pp. 46-47, 109 (re: story)
Yuriko Iwakiri, Yoshitoshi, 2014, p. 68, no. 88



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
October 28, 2021

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