BeeOasis Step 2
In Japan, there is a special kind of painting called “ukiyo-e.” The word literally means “pictures of the floating world.” Ukiyo-e are woodblock prints. This form of art is widely known through the paintings of Hokusai, especially his famous “Great Wave.”
Many ukiyo-e artists left their mark on this style of painting. But the last great master of the form was Yoshitoshi (1839 – June 9, 1892). Yoshitoshi worked during a time when Japan was modernizing. Artists were turning to mass production techniques like photography. In a sense, Japan was turning away from its past and its traditions.
But Yoshitoshi pushed this traditional art form to a new level. He worked during a time of war, and he created a series of “bloody prints,” showing violence and death. These prints captured the public imagination. In these shocking images, people could indirectly see and understand the horror of violence and war.
These violent prints represent only a small part of Yoshitoshi’s work. Some experts say that he made over 10,000 prints, including a series called “100 Aspects of the Moon.” Yoshitoshi gave new life to an old art form. His paintings exploded with stunning color, wonder, and even horror. Sadly, however, this form of art essentially died out with him. But his reputation remains strong today, and Yoshitoshi is recognized as the greatest Japanese artist of his time.