015 Utagawa Kuniyoshi

This work reimagines, with a psychedelic way, the woodblock print titled Tenjiku Tokubei (ca. 1828) from Utagawa Kuniyoshi's series The 108 Heroes of the Popular Suikoden - based on the 14th-century Chinese novel of the same name.

Tenjiku Tokubei (1612 – 1692) was a historical adventurer who traveled to China, Siam, and India. In the 19th century, he became a favorite kabuki character. He was reimagined as a robber and a powerful magician who controlled a giant, fire-breathing toad which is depicted here with bulging eyes and elaborate patterning.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi is one of the great ukiyo-e woodblock print masters of the late Edo period in the 19th century, renowned for dynamic and often violent prints of monsters, demons, ghosts, and samurai heroes. As a member of the Utagawa school, Kuniyoshi gained renown for his “warrior prints,” or musha-e, a genre that is widely credited as a significant influence on modern-day manga comics.

Details: GIF file, 1000x1426 px.; 300 dpi.