YHS news nishikie

Known prints

By William Wetherall

First posted 12 August 2004
Last updated 20 January 2008

Expanding list of known prints

The true value of back matter

Often more important than the main text and illustrations and captions in an exhibition catalog or book are the minute details in the back --- details about not only the featured works, but also about other works and holdings. These details are the fruits of the sort of tedious labor that defines scholarship.

In the back of van den Ing and Schaap's Beauty & Violence (1992) is a two-page list of what the editors claim, without foundation, were "supplements" to Yubin hochi shinbun, when in fact they were produced and sold independently of the newspaper. In any case, their list is based on a similar list in the back of Courage and Silence, Roger Keyes' 1982 doctoral dissertation on Yoshitoshi's life and works.

In the back of Tsuchiya Reiko's Osaka no nishikie shinbun (1995), and on Nihon nishikie shinbun shusei (2000), her CD-ROM compilation of news nishikie, are lists of YHS news nishikie she compiled from her search of collections in Japan, without reference to Keyes or derivative sources like van den Ing and Schaap.

Comparing the Keyes and Tsuchiya lists of known YHS prints reveals two items on each list that are not on the other list. So merging these lists expands the number of known prints by two.

YHS 0, 645, 1127, and 1155

The table in the back of van den Ing and Schaap 1992 includes all but two prints (YHS-0 and YHS-1127) on the list in the back of Tsuchiya 1995. It also includes two prints (YHS-645 and YHS-1055 [actually 1155]) that are not on in Tsuchiya 1995.

Both YHS-645 and YHS-1155 are on Tsuchiya 2000. YHS-645 is included in the table of data on known prints and on the image list. YHS-1155 appears at the very end of the data table, where it is described as an unnumbered triptych about the Sukiyacho fire. A parenthetic note explains that the print is not included on the CD-ROM (^ mishūroku). The compilers of Tsuchiya 2000 were aware of the Sukiyacho triptych but were unable to obtain an image of the work to confirm its particulars.

The four prints in question are as follows.

YHS-0000 is my numbering of the inaugural print, which was published to announce the forthcoming series of YHS news nishikie (Ono 1972:10, Tsuchiya 1995:viii, Tsuchiya 2000).

YHS-0645, a single-sheet print, is about an Englishman named King who raped the 13-year-old daughter of a wine merchant in Shiba. The story, by San'yutei Encho, states that King, a government employee, was sentenced to jail for six months (van den Ing and Schaap 1992:114; Tsuchiya 2000:YHS-0645).

YHS-1127 (Tsuchiya 1995:ix, Tsuchiya 2000:YHC-1127) depicts the death of Ueno Kengo in the Shinpuren rebellion in Kumamoto on 24-25 October 1876 (see YHS Three Stages under Articles).

YHS-1155, a triptych owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, can be seen in Beauty & Violence (van den Ing and Schaap 1992), an exhibition catalog (see Bibliography). The drawing shows a fire brigade fighting a blaze that started in the Sukiyacho area of Tokyo on 29 November 1876 and raged all night.

The catalog calls this print YHS-1055 (1992:51, 114), follwoing Keyes 1982 (315.59) doctoral dissertation on Yoshitoshi (see Bibliography). However, through a magnifying glass, the number on the right side of the title cartouche appears to be 1155. A series number on the left looks like 26 -- another clue (in addition to the date of the fire) that the issue number is not 1055 (see YHS Three Stages).

Unlike other YHS nishikie, YHS-1155 has a vermillion border.

See Sukiyacho fire.

Variations of No. 649

In 2004, the creators of this website discovered two varieties of No. 649. The man's garb has been recarved with stripes running the opposite way, and the colors are different. There is also less blood in what appears to be the later version.

See Man kills wife and her ex husband.