Monday, June 1, 2009

Toshi Yoshida



Toshi Yoshida ~ Moku Hanga Artist

Two Lanterns

Toshi Yoshida,1911-1995, was a moku hanga artist.

~ The international movement of wood block
print making in the tradition of Ukiyo-e ~

Cherry Blossom by the Gate

Son of Hiroshi and Fujio Yoshida,
both of whom were artists, he grew up in a creative
environment starting to draw at the age of three.
It is said that his father, a very accomplished artist
was astonished by the quality of his drawings.


His father was keen to have Toshi
experience the world and took him
on sketching trips to India and South East Asia.

Tenryu River

By day father and son sketched and painted
and by night they travelled
on the trains to new places.

Wisteria at Ushijima, 1935

How the racemes of
white wisteria sway,
As though the night wind
blew the Milky Way

He also visited and painted in China and Korea.
After the war he travelled and
lectured all over the world.

Double Cherry

Yoshida's favourite subjects were landscapes and animals.
He loved to use colour and large spaces in a realistic style.


Temple bells die out
The fragrant blossoms remain
A perfect evening!

In Japan, from 1980, he maintained
a print making school where many
foreigners went to learn Ukiyo-e.


For a period after the death of his father
Yoshida experimented with abstracts
before returning to the moku hanga style.

Humming Bird and fuchsia

Toshi Yoshida's prints are covetted
by art lovers and collectors
and found in art galleries all over the world.



  1. Dear Delwyn this is so beautiful,real treat for my tired mind,eyes and soul.How delicate and oh,I whish that one day,very soon I will be paiting again.Thank you for your support,loads of good love and light to you.Sandra

  2. It is very interesting to see how his style changed over the years. What a nice flow of moku hanga you have displayed!
    I can hear the rain just by looking at "Umbrella"..his detail is amazing.
    I would very much like to have one hanging on my wall...

  3. What a beauty! Lovely, fresh and fragrant pictures! Unique style. I loved the use of colors..scintillating!

    Thanks for sharing this great art with us.

    Have a great day!

  4. Hi,Delwyn.

    Oh Yoshida Toshi!! My daughter was reading his picture books when she was in kindergarten. His African animals are very nice! I like his father(Hiroshi)'s mokuhanga too, especially "sailing boats" series.

    Of the above mokuhangas, every piece is lovely.
    Birds are very cute, aren't they? Wisterias are so romantic. And his "Mirage" reminds me of Mandala.

    Thank you so much for sharing these. I enjoyed them a lot!!!!

  5. ☆sapphire

    Hello there,

    I will look up the sailing boat series again. I would like to see the children's picture books too. I'll try googling them.

    Being wisteria lovers we needed the wisteria piece and haiku!!!

    The Mirage is a little like the sun coming through stained glass...

    I'm glad that you love his work too.

    Happy Days

  6. deepazartz,

    I hope you enjoyed the ukiyo-e as much as I do...

    Happy Days

  7. Tulsa,
    I have been looking at the umbrellas again and you are right, how clever is he to do that especially with a wood block - actually it amazes me what detail they achieve with the technique.

    There are many many ukiyo-e I would like to have on the wall!!

    Happy Days

  8. Hi Aleks,
    how are you going today? those hands getting better yet? perhaps they don't want to paint at the moment...perhaps they want to hold a book...or go into a pocket while you take a walk...

    Happy Days Aleks

  9. Hi, again.

    URL is below:
    Toshi's Picture books:

    for your reference.

    Sweet Dreams!

  10. Sapphire,
    Thank you so much
    I have been looking at English versions and Amazon has some second hand books but your sites are great - you can look inside the books too, wonderful illustrations.
    I will spend some time looking at all the illustrations tomorrow as its late now and bed calls...

    I really appreciate your links, thank you. I'll get my daughter in Tokyo to look for them.

    Happy days

  11. So,so wonderful. I love them! Thanks Delwyn, they really are something I would treasure.xx♥

  12. Delwyn,

    Beautiful post. Thanks for that! Where are the originals by the way?


  13. I love Umbrellas! My youngest would love his work too, I think. He loves things Japanese.

  14. I've never heard about Maku Hanga style. It's beautiful.

    I've recently seen Kuniyoshi exhibition here in London and it was wonderful. Japanese drawings are so full of stories, imagination and colour.

  15. absolutely breathtaking!!! i love the prints entitled "umbrella", "tenryu river" and "heijinga". they have a quality about them that reminds me of the rupert bear annuals i used to read (and look at) as a boy that were illustrated by alfred bestall (but with that special otherness that great japanese art somehow exudes). thanks so much for this - what a wicked good way to spend time - looking at these exquisite pieces of art.

  16. Natalie,

    I'm glad we share the same loves in art...
    Happy Days

  17. Ruslan,

    Hi there, all woodblock prints are done in runs and therefore vary a lot in colours and strengths of colour especially with the old ones which tended to fade over time. Sometimes I see originals for sale when I google and copies are held in galleries all around the world as well as in private collections.
    Happy Days

  18. Meri,
    I love the rain that you can see but not see in that print.
    Happy days

  19. Polly, if you look back a little way I wrote a couple of posts on Ukiyo-e woodblock printing.
    It describes the history of the art form.

    Moku Hanga is a derivative of that genre. When the style lost popularity after the opening of Japan to the West a group of artists endeavoured to resurrect the style and complete the entire woodblock printing process themselves - usually a team of artists work on one piece of work- this 'do it all yourself process' was called moku hanga.

    The entire revival of the ukiyo-e art form right up to present day is known as shin hanga.

    Happy Days

  20. Hi Steven,

    They are very subtle and moody aren't they? I can't believe how they achieve such results through carving a woodblock. It amazes me. Those carvers need a lot of the credit I think not just the artist. All the detail...for example the movement in the humming birds' wings...

    Oh Happy Days

  21. Your are a fount of knowledge. I enjoyed learning about Toshi Yoshida's woodblock prints. Like others, I was particularly taken by the umbrella print.

  22. Hi Dan,
    the Umbrella print seems to be a favourite.
    I have so many ukiyo-e artists to share with you... I am really keen to bring you some contemporary artists.

    Happy Days

  23. I like the white lining of the top piece:)


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