Yoshitoshi: Raiko Eyes a Spider

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Raiko Eyes a Spider
Series: One Hundred Ghost Stories of China and Japan (Wakan hyaku Monogatari)
Date: 1865

Minamoto Yorimitsu Ason, also known as Raiko looks with suspicion at a palm-sized spider that has landed on his side table. Raiko was famous for slaying a giant earth spider, Tsuchigomo, which became the subject of a Noh play. Much like if today we saw Peter Parker staring at a spider, we would immediately know the association and the larger story, viewers at the time would immediately know the reference.  Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi have both portrayed this scene in a very different way, showing the spider as larger than a human being. As Stevenson notes, this quiet and allusive interpretation is unusual for the period and presages his his interest in projecting the inner thoughts of his subjects, not just their actions.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Mint.
Dimensions: ôban (37.5 x 25.7 cm)
Literature: Beaty & Violence, series #10.15. See Stevenson “Yositoshi’s Strange Tales”, number 15, page 58.
Signature: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga


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