Comments - An exceptionally rare Yoshitoshi kakemono depicting Shoki the Demon Queller. The work is comprised of two vertically arranged woodblock prints. This the only example of this vertical diptych that we have seen.
Shoki, the famous demon queller is based on the Chinese legend of Chung Kuei, who appeared to the Emperor in a dream and chased away the fever demons plaguing him. Shoki strikes a dramatic pose bravely riding a fierce beast, a fantastical depiction of a tiger. His sword is ready for action. A demon cowers and schemes in the lower panel. A terrific portrait of this legendary figure, illustrating Yoshitoshi’s exceptional skill.
The kakemono is mounted on a fine scroll and is stored in its original paulownia box (see photos). This is the only example we know of this Yoshitoshi kakemono. It was sourced by a leading Japanese dealer and scholar in 2022 from a Japanese collection. This is the first time this scroll has been on the market in over 50 years.
This rare Yoshitoshi is once in a lifetime opportunity for a Yoshitoshi collector, or a collector of fine, rare woodblock prints in general.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - Print size 13” x 36” (total in two prints) Scroll size 18” x 60” (total outside scroll dimension)
Condition - Good overall with some light staining and soiling, as shown. Light wear, small holes to the print only (not through scroll) at the right edge, to the right and right/above the tiger’s forward paw (see photos). Light, typical vertical creases from the scroll rolling. When displayed in Japan these creases are usually relaxed by weighting the bottom from the wooden caps. Please see photos.