Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年)

Print: Ishikawa Mon'ya Katsuaki (石川門弥勝明) from the series Tales of the Floating World in Eastern Brocade: Momkawa Engyoku (Azuma nishiki ukiyo kōdan: Momokawa Engyoku - 東錦浮世稿談: 桃川燕玉)

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Dates: 1868,created
Dimensions: 9.5 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu
Artist's seal: kiri
Publisher: Tamaya Sōsuke
(Marks 528 - seal 25-145)
Combined date and aratame censor's seal: 1/1868

Related links: Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna; Yoshitoshi.net - the full set of prints from this series; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg;

Physical description:

"A samurai identified as Ishikawa Mon'ya Katsuaki dodges a gang of pursuers by making a daring leap off a cliff with a bloody sword gripped in his teeth (blade exposed outward, of course), from a tale credited to Momokawa Engyoku."

This information was provided by Scholten Japanese Art.


"Rough tales of the floating world told on eastern brocades (Azuma nishiki ukiyo kōdan) is a complex series in its content and in the interpretation of the meaning of the series title. In the past, little effort has been made to further our understanding of the term kōdan (稿談) in the title which, when written with different homophonic characters, refers to the tradition of story telling (講談). 'Story telling' is a central element in the set, since the series title in each print is followed by the name of a well-known raconteur (kōdan-shi) from the late Edo and early Meiji periods. The character used for in the title kōdan connotes 'rough', 'sketchy' or 'unpolished', as in a 'rough manuscript' or 'rough version'."

Quoted from: Yoshitoshi: Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection, page 89.

"This set was issued from 9/1867-2/1868. Forty-five designs from this series are presently known... The set is unusual for its collaboration between seven different publishers. It is quite rare and was never re-published." (Ibid.) [The choice of bold type is ours.]


The text on this print in the upper left, a folded over book, is by Kanagaki Robun (仮名垣魯文 - 1829-1894). It is based on a tale originally told by Momokawa Engyoku


There are four other prints from this series in the Lyon Collection: #s 369, 370, 957 and 958.