Samurai and Tiger WarsArt by Kuniyoshi and Others
As the creation of Japanese woodblock prints grew in popularity in the late Edo period, tigers could be found in the designs of many important ukiyo-e artists, either alone or shown in conflict with legendary Japanese warriors and tiger-hunters such as Kato Kiyomasa, conqueror of Korea. Images of Kiyomasa and others hunting, fighting and killing tigers form perhaps the most common type of print involving man/beast death struggles. Other ukiyo-e designs focused on the mythological or magic aspect of tigers; in Japanese legend, tigers of a certain age acquired magical powers, and tiger magic was used in conflicts by sorcerer-warriors such as Tora-o-maru, who is depicted in numerous kabuki portraits. Finally, a significant number of ukiyo-e images show the tiger s image as an accessory tigerskins worn as items of clothing or displayed as trophies, tiger designs printed onto fabric, and warriors and outlaws with ferocious-looking tiger tattoos. TIGER AND SAMURAI WARS features over 100 rare and exceptional Japanese woodblock prints of tigers, tigers and samurai warriors, magic tigers, and tiger accessories, presented in full-page format and full colour throughout. The artists featured in the book include Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi, Yoshitsuya, Yoshikazu, Kunichika, Kunisada, Kyosai, Kunitsuna, and numerous others a list of many of the most outstanding ukiyo-e artists of Edo and Meiji, each of whom used their immense artistic talent and imagination to brilliantly illuminate their iconic subject."