The Lady Kido Suikoin standing outside a sliding shoji screen, carrying two samurai swords. She looks back over her shoulder cautiously, perhaps listening to a conversation inside the room behind her. Suikoin was formerly a Kyoto geisha named Ikumatsu, and the mistress of the warrior Katsura Kogoro. He bought out her geisha contract, trained her to be a spy, and made good use of her political knowledge during the Meiji Restoration, which he favored. After the Restoration, he changed his name to Kido Takayoshi and married Ikumatsu, bestowing her with the name Kido Suikoin.
From the series 'Kinsei Jimbutsushi (Personalities of Recent Times). Yoshitoshi produced these prints in the 1880s as furoku, or supplements, to certain issues of the Yamato Newspaper. These prints were distributed to subscribers. While employed by the newspapers. These prints date from late in Yoshitoshi's career, during the time that he was producing his well-received masterpiece series, "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon" (1885-1892). At this time, Yoshitoshi was well established as a great artist, and his work was in high demand. The series features illustrations of a wide variety of personalities from contemporary, and historical times. The portraits are considered exceptional in execution relative to other news nishiki-e prints.
Dates: 10/1886 - 05/1888
Condition: Very good, margins as shown, not backed.
Publisher: Yamato Shimbunsha
Block carvers: Suntetsudō Enkatsu, Yamamoto