Artist: Utagawa Yoshitsuya (歌川芳艶)

Print: Ryūōmaru (龍王丸) from the series
Mirror of Warriors of Our Land (Honchō musha kagami - 本朝武者鏡)

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Dates: 1857,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.375 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga
Publisher: Tsujiokaya Bunsuke
(Marks 548 - seal 21-228)
Censor's seal: aratame
Date seal: 7/1857

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;

Physical description:

Ryūōmaru is standing on and encircled by a fantastical dragon-like monster. Ryūōmaru is holding his fingers in a position of yōjutsu (妖術) in order to cast a magical spell. When his hands are in this position he is capable of appearing or disappearing at will or of conjuring up phantom creatures which will intimidate or deflect his enemies and/or pursuers.

There are at least seven other prints in the Lyon Collection where yōjutsu is being practiced. Two show Nikki Danjō, a villainous sorcerer, practicing his art. One is by Natori Shunsen, #545, and the other is by Hokushū, #577. There are two copies of Yoshitsuya triptych featuring Hakamadare sitting atop his fearsome 'famiiiar' - #s 955 and 990. A Toyokuni III book cover of Jiraiya at #981. And a Kuniyoshi of Kidōmaru, #708. In that one the magicians hands are in a slightly different configuration.