Yoshitoshi - The wet nurse Masaoka

Masaoka holding her murdered child

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 

The wet nurse Masaoka of the Date clan

「皇国二十四功」 「伊達家の乳人浅岡」

Twenty-four Accomplishments in Imperial Japan (Kōkoku nijūshi-kō)

It consists of images of various people (mostly samurai, with some others) who played notable roles in Japanese history.

It dates from towards the end of Yoshitoshi's career, when he was about forty-two. It thus dates from slightly before before his well-known masterpieces such as his great series "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon" (1885-1892), and "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" (often called simply "Thirty-Six Ghosts") (1889-1892).

The series was very popular while Yoshitoshi was alive, and it went through numerous printings. Several different states may be seen of these early printings (all with a red title cartouche); in some (perhaps the earliest, since it was the most work to produce) the text panel has several inclined bokashi stripes across it; in others (perhaps later), a simple band of bokashi at the top and bottom; and in others, no decoration at all.

The entire set was posthumously re-published between 1893 and 1895 by Matsuki Heikichi; paler colours were used, and some block changes were made. The easiest tell-tale for the second publishing is that the title cartouche is no longer red, but grey. The most significant change in most of the prints in that edition was the alteration of the signature: in all of them, the entire signature cartouche was removed, and replaced with a facsimile of the signature Yoshitoshi used toward the end of his life, along with a seal from that period.

Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi

Date: 1895