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RONIN GALLERY


RONIN GALLERY 425 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10017 The Largest Collection of Japanese Prints in the U.S. Japanese and East Asian Contemporary Art RoninGallery.com January 2016

Š 2016 RONIN GALLERY All Rights Reserved


YOSHITOSHI MORI (1898–1992)

While the floating world of Edo had long disappeared by Yoshitoshi Mori’s birth in 1898, his family roots intertwine deep within its culture of artisans, instilling his energetic work with an inherent understanding of a time past. His subjects range from the daily life of the working class in the lowlands of Edo (shitamachi), sensual beauties of the night, and dramatic kabuki portraits, to Buddhist imagery and intimate imaginings of classic tales and legendary heroes. Ronin Gallery is pleased to represent the private collection of Eiko Mori, along with other major works, in the exhibition Yoshitoshi Mori (1898–1992). Avidly collected by museums and private collectors alike, Mori’s work is renowned for its spirited expression of traditional subject matter in

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a distinctly modern visual dialect. Many of the works in this collection are number one of their edition or one of a kind. Boldly graphic, vibrantly colored, and unfalteringly dynamic, Mori’s works astonish the viewer with their tangible vitality. Each piece stops its beholder in his or her tracks, for each work has a story to tell. From flowing kappazuri and the artist’s private sketchbook, to large-scale sumptuous screen paintings, this exhibition explores the powerful oeuvre of this pivotal member of the Japanese sosaku hanga, or “creative print,” movement. Mori created the majority of his prints through kappazuri, a form of stencil printing, layering color and form with self-cut stencils. Through this technique, Mori’s


translated his 30 years of dyeing experience to printmaking, applying the same stencil method used for textiles to paper. Mori’s printing process began with a sheet of shibugami; a stencil paper made from several sheets of smoke-cured, handmade paper adhered together with persimmon tannin. He pasted his design onto this flexible, strong, and water-resistant stencil paper before using a sharp knife to remove all spaces destined for color. He was left with the skeleton of his design, or the key impression (omogata), and several color stencils. Mori removed the original design from the stencil paper, wet the stencil to increase flexibility, and, in certain cases, reinforced thin lines with silk gauze. He brushed on each color, progressing from light to dark. With each layer of ink, he protected white space and existing color with a color-resistant paste (noribuse). Through the use of the paste, Mori combined standard stencil printing technique with stencil dyeing (katazome). After all colors had been applied, he imparted the rich india ink outlines of the composition using the key impression. When this final ink layer dried, he washed away the paste and allowed the completed print to dry. It is through this innovative technique that Mori blurs delineations of craft and art, past and present. Yoshitoshi Mori was born in Tokyo in 1898, the first of Yonejiro and Yone Mori’s three sons. The artist was four years old when his father left, forcing him and his mother to move into his grandfather’s home in the heart of the shitamachi. Mori’s grandfather owned Nishigen, a wholesale fish market operating since 1615. Though the family business had thrived for centuries, it went bankrupt shortly after the family resettled, and they were uprooted once again. Moving into the home of his aunt, Kin Harada, Mori’s world was filled

with music. Harada taught nagauta, a specific form of kabuki chanting and musical accompaniment. Mori’s mother began to study and teach this traditional art as well, but this period of peace was fleeting. At the age of eight, Yoshitoshi Mori’s life fell into upheaval. His mother remarried and moved to different area of Tokyo. Though she took her second son to her new home, she left the young artist in the care of his aunt and grandfather. Within months of his mother’s departure, Mori’s grandfather succumbed to a darkness that had been building inside him since the bankruptcy. Distraught, Mori’s grandfather committed ritual suicide (harakiri). Following graduation from elementary school, Mori began to spend more time at his mother’s home, pouring over his stepfather’s collection of ukiyo-e prints, from actor portraits to illustrated books. Mori soon entered an apprenticeship at a machine-made paper shop. Mori’s daughter, Eiko Mori, describes his experience: “For a while, he worked for a wholesale paper store at Atagoshita in Tokyo. His work was to bring 20 piles of paper, which weighed more than 600 kilograms, from Atagoshita to Shinagawa using a large cart. Of course, it was heavy labor for little boy around 13 years old; especially since there was a long slope between two places. He had to unload 15 of those 20 piles of paper at the bottom of the slope, brought five piles of paper on the cart first, and then carried up 15 piles of paper one by one on his shoulder. He was so tired that he took a break at Shiba-Koen on his way. Looking up the sky, he came upon the five-storied pagoda of Zojo temple and gazed at its roofing tiles with demon faces (similar to the Western gargoyle). The faces were all different: smiling, angry, funny, optimistic, crying, etc. Looking at those faces, he felt horribly wretched and thought, ‘How

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wonderful it would be if I could do such creative work!’” In 1914, Mori fled the paper business, took up residence with his mother, and heeded his creative calling. Under the tutelage of Shuho Yamakawa, Mori gained a formal education in drawing, illustration and painting. He was a quick learner and diligent student and soon became the pupil of Shuho’s father, the esteemed kimono pattern artist Seiho Yamakawa. As Mori learned to dye and draw, he simultaneously studied brush drawing with Koho Goto. During this period, Mori became deeply rooted in Tokyo’s artistic community, moving amidst luminaries of early 20th-century printmaking. Mori’s explorations in illustration and textile arts were suddenly put on hold in 1918. Drafted into the Akasaka First Infantry Regiment, Mori served in Korea. This sojourn from his work only amplified his desire to be an artist. Following his honorable discharge in 1920, he resumed his studies with Shuho. Mori began exploring different artistic mediums, working half days at an oil paint plant to support himself. He entered Kawabata Art School, graduating in 1923 with a major in Japanesestyle painting. His career appeared to be on the rise: several of his drawings of had been submitted to and accepted by a rakugo performing group, but this deal was never realized. On September 1, 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake devastated Tokyo. Once again, Mori came face to face with personal tragedy as his aunt’s home burned down. Mori put his artistic career on hold and became a salesman in an effort to support his aunt. Seimu Sakka, the kimono artisan that Mori had apprenticed with during art school, took notice of Mori’s situation and refused to let such talent go to waste. Sakka offered the young artist housing and a job as a kimono dyer.

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By 1925, Mori had established himself as an independent artisan, designing and dyeing fabric for kimono. As his business prospered, he quickly became well known in his field. He married and had three daughters: Eiko, Kozue, and Ayako. When the Japan Folk Crafts Museum opened in 1936, Mori became a frequent visitor. The traditional works in this collection inspired Mori and wielded a strong influence on his work. During one of his many visits to the museum, he met Shiko Munakata and Kihei Sasajima, two of the most influential sosaku hanga, or “creative print,” artists. Drawing influence from contemporary Western art movements such as expressionism, this movement emphasized the artist’s involvement in every step of printmaking, as well as the creative process itself. Mori joined the newly organized group of dyeing craftsman known as the Society of Young Leaves (Moegikai) in 1939. The group flourished in the years before the war, but struggled during World War II. Mori lost his apprentices to army service and wartime provisions crashed upon the perceived luxury of kimono fabric dyeing. During this difficult time, Mori helped fellow kimono artisans evade restrictions, find materials, and smooth over sumptuary infractions. The Great Tokyo Air Raid of 1945 dissipated the shadows and structures of Edo-period culture that Mori held dear. The artist had no choice but leave his historical home. Following the end of the war in 1945, the Japanese government launched an effort to preserve Japanese art and traditional crafts. Mori was one of many artists and artisans across the country to receive materials necessary to practice his craft. Using the cloth and dye supplied by this government initiative, Mori maintained his success following the war. While Mori had experimented with printmaking throughout his artistic career,


he began producing monostencil prints on wood and glass sheets in 1951. Upon the urging of Soetsu, a leader of the sosaku hanga movement, Mori began exhibiting his work. His focus had begun to shift from the realm of craft to the freedom of art when he entered two prints in the 1957 inaugural Tokyo International Biennial of Prints, a massive event composed of 800 prints by 250 artists spanning 31 countries. Though the Japanese judges tended towards Western-style prints, foreign judges favored the striking creativity and unrestrained expression of sosaku hanga. As one of Mori’s entries vied for first prize in the Japanese Printmaking category, the print sparked a debate that revealed the inherent conflict between tradition and internationalism in contemporary Japanese art. This discussion set the stage for sosaku hanga to become a dominant graphic establishment in Japan and remain an important influence on printmaking today.

Though Mori ultimately did not win, his experience at the Biennial gave him a new confidence in his printed work and he began to exhibit around the world. He formally declared himself a printmaker in 1960, completing some woodblock prints, but primarily producing stencil prints (kappazuri). In May of 1962, a leader of the mingei movement criticized Mori, insisting that he was becoming more of an artist than an artisan, leading to a heated debate about the difference between craft and art. This argument convinced Mori to leave the crafts division of Kokugakai. Yoshitoshi Mori’s eldest daughter, Eiko Mori states, “I believe that the hard days of his young life made him strong, and that his dream to be an artist instilled an unconventional taste and Edo-wise humor into his original paintings.” Mori is often referred to as a modern “Child of Edo” (edokko) due to his outstanding ability to revive this time long past. His works recreate the 17th century lowlands of Edo, resurrecting the artisans, actors, and beauties of the floating world. Mori’s many hours spent in the Japan Folk Crafts Museum are revealed in the deeply mingei, or folk art, style coursing through his work, informing Mori’s pictorial language and subject matter. Even when he delved into thoroughly canonical tales, such as Genpei, in the 1970’s, Mori’s lines bleed mingei texture and the resilient spirit of Edo. Within its wealth of tradition, Mori’s work is distinctly contemporary. His figures and structures break down into geometric units, hinting to the influence of abstraction and expressionism. He makes full use of white space, accentuating his infinite, winding outlines and emphatic color blocks. Dynamic and emotional, the art of Yoshitoshi Mori does not quietly wait for its viewer; it shouts out and strikes with awe.

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TIMELINE 1898 1902 1908 1911 1914 1915 1918 1920 1921 1923 1924 1925 1928 1934 1936 1939 1940 1941 1942 1944 1945 1947 1949 1954 1957 1960 1962 1965 1970 1984 1992

Born October 31 to Yonejiro and Yone Mori at grandfather’s home in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. Mori’s father leaves, the family moves to grandfather’s home. Nishigen goes bankrupt. Mother marries Taijiro Neto and moves to Kakigara-cho, grandfather dies. Develops interest in the ukiyo-e prints and illustrations, uncle dies. Leaves commercial paper company, moves in with mother. Begins to study with the Yamakawas and brush drawing with Koho Goto. Drafted into the Akasaka First Infantry Regiment, serves in Kwangju, Korea. Honorably discharged from the army, begins to study painting with Shuho. Works at Sakuragi Oil Paint Plant, studies with Koho Goto, enters Kawabata Art School. Great Kanto Earthquake; aunt’s house burns down, Mori focuses on supporting her. Begins working for Seimu Sakka, textile dyer in Waseda. Becomes an independent artisan, joins Association of Kimono Pattern Craftsmen. Marries Iku Shimizu, prestige as kimono pattern craftsman grows. First daughter, Eiko Mori, is born. Second daughter, Kozue born, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum opens in Komaba, Tokyo. Joins the Society of Young Leaves. Meets Munakata and Kihei at the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. Sucessful Society of Young Leaves exhibition in Ginza before WWII begins. Third daughter, Ayako, born, crackdown on luxury, difficult for kimono dyeing artisans. Wife falls ill, receives special governmental permission to make/sell kimono patterns. Shitamachi devastated by Great Tokyo Air Raid, Mori moves to aunt’s house, war ends. Enters a kimono in the craft division of the state-sponsored Kokugakai exhibition. Becomes an associate member of the craft division of Kokugakai. Enters work in the 1954 Japanese Woodblock Academy (Nihon Bangain) exhibition. Competes against Yozo Hamaguchi’s print for first place in the Japanese Printmaking division of the inaugural Tokyo International Biennial of Prints. Officially declares self a printmaker. Leaves Kokugakai craft division following argument. Participates in Japan Art Festival, spanning the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Between 1965 and 1982, he severs all organizational and group affiliations. Travels to Europe, inspired to depict classic Japanese tales such as Genpei. First Japanese artist to receive an honorary PhD in Art from University of Maryland. Dies on May 29, immediately following one-man show at the Wako Gallery in Tokyo.

SELECT PERMANENT COLLECTIONS Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Art Institute of Chicago Baltimore Museum of Art Barcelona Art Museum Berlin National Museum British Museum Brooklyn Museum Cincinnati Art Museum Cleveland Museum of Art De Young Museum, San Francisco Harvard University Art Museums Honolulu Academy of Art

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Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo Library of Congress Los Angeles County Museum of Art Metropolitan Museum of Art Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg Museum of Fine Arts Boston Museum of Modern Art, New York National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Philadelphia Museum of Art Portland Art Museum Yale University Art Gallery


KAPPAZURI


Echigoya Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1958 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20.25� x 16.5� Ref. # JP1-39359

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Portable Shrine Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1958 Edition: A.P. Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 27.5� x 23.5� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37550

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Movable Festival Shrine Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1958 Edition: 1/1 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 30� x 19.75� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37541

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Festival Carriage Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1958 Edition: 1/1 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 29� x 21� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37543

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Shinto Festival Procession Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1959 Edition: 10/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori, Mori ban Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 22� x 28.5� Ref. # JP2-39387

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Shitamachi Workers Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1959 Edition: 1/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 21.75� x 20.25� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37536

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Construction Laborers Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1959 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 23� x 22.25� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37537

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Clown Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1959 Edition: A.P. Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 26� x 21.75� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37559

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Kamuro (A Young Girl) Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1960 Edition: A.P. Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 17� x 15� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JP2-19741

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Two Gods of War Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1965 Edition: A.P. III/X Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20.25” x 27” Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37540

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Goddess Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1965 Edition: 1/30 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 25.25� x 19.5� Ref. # JP2-39415

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Samurai and Wicked Woman Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1965 Edition: 2/30 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 30.25� x 22.5� Ref. # JP2-39416

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Archer Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1964 Edition: 28/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 23� x 18� Ref. # JP2-39406

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Shibaraku Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1967 Edition: 14/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 35� x 27� Ref. # JP2-39419

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The Life of Yoshitsune Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1972 Edition: 6/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20.25” x 27” Ref. # JP2-39412

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The Canal Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1973 Edition: 20/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 16.5� x 27� Ref. # JP110329

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Kagura Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1971 Edition: 5/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 23� x 28� Ref. # JP2-39389

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Nasu no Yoichi Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1971 Edition: 46/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 27� x 23.5� Ref. # JP1-20387

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A Rambunctious Monk Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1972 Edition: 23/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20� x 26.25� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37539

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Benkei Battling Ushiwakamaru on Gojo Bridge Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1973 Edition: A.P. Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 35.5� x 28.5� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37564

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Carpenters Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1973 Edition: 21/70 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 20� x 14� Ref. # JP110334

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Potter Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1973 Edition: 31/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20.5� x 13.5� Ref. # JP1-39350

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Lantern Maker Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1973 Edition: 12/70 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 13.5� x 20.5� Ref. # JP1-39354

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Intimacy Black and White Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1975 Edition: 8/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20� x 27� Ref. # JP2-39404

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Eerie Night Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1975 Edition: 4/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 17.5” x 23” Ref. # JP2-25429

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Sansho Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1976 Edition: 30/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 12.25” x 27” Ref. # JP1-39370

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Tsuchigumo (Demon Spider) Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1977 Edition: 1/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 35� x 27� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37560

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Shuriken Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1977 Edition: 1/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 27� x 20.25� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37558

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Sukeroku Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1977 Edition: 33/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 27.5� x 20.25� Ref. # JP110336

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A Teahouse Maid Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1978 Edition: 19/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 27� x 20.5� Ref. # JP2-39396

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Red Lantern Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1977 Edition: 30/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20� x 27� Ref. # JP2-39414

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Danmari Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1977 Edition: 19/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20� x 27� Ref. #JP2-39411

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Comb Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1978 Edition: 1/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 23� x 17.25� Ref. # JP2-39405

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Afternoon Nap Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1979 Edition: 3/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 17.5� x 22.5� Ref. # JP1-39355

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Devil’s Drum Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1979 Edition: H.C. Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 9” x 12” Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19738

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Japanese Flute Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1979 Edition: 2/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 17.25� x 13.5� Ref. # JP1-39345

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Sakayaki (Top Knot) Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1980 Edition: 26/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 21” x 13.75” Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JP2-19829 (Right) Drawing from E. Mori Collection Signed Y. M. Sealed Yoshitoshi. 11.5” x 9.” Sold with print. 46

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Why Don’t You Wait Here? Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1981 Edition: 18/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 24” x 17” Ref. # JP1-39363

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Myoo King: Flaming Halo Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1981 Edition: 2/3 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 44� x 29� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. #: JPR2-37566

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Puzzle Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1981 Edition: 1/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20� x 13.75� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19772

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Have a Look at My Back Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1981 Edition: 3/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20.5� x 13.5� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19749

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Imagine Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1981 Edition: 5/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20.5� x 13.5� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19758

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Three Samurai Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1981 Edition: A.P. Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 21.25� x 27� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19847

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Shamisen Lessons (Black) Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1983 Edition: 5/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 11.25� x 14.25� Ref. # JP1-39357

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Dancing with White Fan Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1982 Edition: 21/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 20� x 13.5� Ref. # JP1-39352

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Sukeroku Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1985 Edition: 1/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 24� x 16� Ref. # JP1-39362

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Nude Next to Flower Vase Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1986 Edition: 3/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 20.25� x 13.75� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19761

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One Summer Morning Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1985 Edition: 9/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 18� x 13.5� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19768

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Taira no Tomomori Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1985 Edition: 1/1 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 44� x 28.5� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. #: JPR2-37562

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Black Shibaraku Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1985 Edition: 28/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 24.5� x 16.25� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19839

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Black Hair Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1989 Edition: 21/50 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 19.5� x 24.5� Ref. # JP110327

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Hidaka River: Kiyohime Turning into a Snake Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1986 Edition: 6/50 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 18.75” x 27” Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19845

(Right) Drawing from E. Mori Collection Signed Y. M. Sealed Yoshitoshi. 5.25” x 7.” Sold with print.

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Secret Horse Medium: Kappazuri Date: 1989 Edition: 27/70 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 10.75� x 12� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19775

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MOKU HANGA, STENCIL, PAINTINGS, SKETCHBOOK


Shibaraku Medium: Woodblock Print Date: 1974 Edition: 17/100 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 23.25” x 17.5” Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-19821

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Shibaraku Medium: Woodblock Print Date: 1972 Edition: 87/100 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 21.25” x 29.5” Ref. # JP2-19850

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Inland Sea Battle of Heike and Genji Series: The Tale of the Heike Medium: Stencil for kappazuri Date: c. 1973 Size: 47� x 63� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. #JPR2-27356

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Five Women in the Yoshiwara Medium: Painting on two panel screen Date: 1985 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 24� x 36� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-27359

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Ofune Medium: Painting Date: 1984 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 19� x 13� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37530

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The Story of Yaoya Oshichi Medium: Painting Date: 1984 Signature: Yoshi, Y. Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 16.5” x 12.25” Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37534

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Sweet Night Medium: Painting Date: 1984 Signature: Yoshitoshi Mori Seal: Yoshitoshi Size: 24� x 38.25� Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-27360

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Mountains and Sea Medium: Painting Date: 1979 Signature: Y. Mori Seal: Yoshi Size: 12� x 16.5� Ref. # JP1-39358

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Lovers Medium: Painting on shikishi board Signature: Y. Mori Size: 9.5� x 10.5� Ref. # JP1-39344

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SHUTEN DOJI

PAINTINGS

Mori renders the classic tale of Shuten Doji in storybook form through the following paintings on paper. Composed of 18 works and a title page (pictured left), these dynamic illustrations range in size, from 9.25” x 8.5” to 19” x 9.5”. Never before seen in the United States, this rare collection presents a traditional Japanese narrative in Mori’s vital, graphic style. Date: c. 1970 Signature: Mori Yoshitoshi on title page, Y.M and/or Yoshi on each illustration Seal: Yoshitoshi on each illustration Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-41904


Long, long ago‌ There was once an evil demon called Shuten Doji (literally “Heavy Drinkerâ€?) who lived in Mt. Oe in Tango (northern Kyoto). Each night, he and his wicked fellows attacked the city and kidnapped beautiful princesses. The emperor was in an agony of despair, and asked the famous warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu to save the stolen princesses. Yorimitsu selected five brave soldiers to accompany him and set off to Mt. Oe. On their way, they stopped at an old shrine to pray for victory and divine protection.

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At a small hatch, Yorimistu and his company came upon three old men. The elders gave the warriors special sake and war helmets. While the sake was a good medicine for human beings, it was a terrible poison for evil demons. Yorimitsu and his soldiers were pleased to receive such marvelous items and believed that the three old men must be gods. They continued their journey deep into the mountain. Finally, they reached a grotto, the lair of Shuten Doji and his fellow demons.

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When Shuten Doji noticed his uninvited visitors, Yorimitsu quickly claimed that he and his men were yamabushi (itinerant priests) who had lost their way in the mountain. He begged for lodging for the night. Yorimitsu placed the special sake in front of Shuten Doji. He was so pleased by this offering that he let Yorimitsu and his soldiers enter the grotto. Shuten Doji and his demons drank the sake until they became very drunk. They danced, sang, and fell into a deep sleep, unaware of Yorimitsu’s deception.

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Dressed in armor and the special helmets, Yorimitsu and his soldiers fought the poisoned demons. Under the protection of the gods, they slayed Shuten Doji and his demons and rescued the kidnapped princesses.

Freed from the terror of Shuten Doji, the people of Kyoto celebrated the return of the warriors and the princesses. The emperor rewarded Yorimitsu and his men handsomely for restoring peace in Kyoto.

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THE HELL SERIES

SKETCHBOOK Mori portrays ten Buddhist hell scenes in brilliant color, as well as four drawings in black-and-white, through the 14 pages of this exceptionally rare sketchbook. Measuring 13.75 x 10 inches, the collection presents a vivid world of stark skeletons, towering oni (demons), and unlucky victims. Date: 1966 Provenance: E. Mori Ref. # JPR2-37881


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SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Abe, Setsuko, Haruo Matsukoa, Masako Hayano, and Paul Zito. Mori Yoshitoshi Kappa-ban. S.l.: Organizing Committee for the Mori Yoshitoshi Exhibition, 1985. Print. Merritt, Helen, and Nanako Yamada. Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1992. Print. Smith, Lawrence. Contemporary Japanese Prints: Symbols of a Society in Transition. New York: Harper & Row, 1985. Print. Photographs of Yoshitoshi Mori courtesy of Eiko Mori.

RONIN GALLERY 425 Madison Ave New York, NY 10017 212.688.0188 www.roningallery.com ronin@roningallery.com Chairman: Herbert Libertson President: David Libertson Executive Director: Roni Neuer Director: Tomomi Seki Gallery Associate: Travis Suzaka Research Assistant: Madison Folks Gallery Assistant: Runting Song Gallery Assistant: Akane Yanagisawa


RONINGALLERY

425 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10017 The Largest Collection of Japanese Prints in the U.S. Japanese and East Asian Contemporary Art

Yoshitoshi Mori (1898 - 1992)  

Ronin Gallery is pleased to represent the private collection of Eiko Mori and other major works in the exhibition Yoshitoshi Mori (1898–1992...

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