Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 – 1892)
Ukiyo-e artist active from the late Edo period to the mid-Meiji period.
He was the most successful Ukiyo-e artist at a time when Ukiyo-e was out of demand,
and is sometimes described as the 'last Ukiyo-e artist'.
He was also known for his shocking and cruel paintings,
which earned him the nickname 'bloody Yoshitoshi'.
In 1850, at the age of 12, he was introduced to Utagawa Kuniyoshi,
and made his debut as an ukiyo-e artist at the age of 15,
when he published a series of samurai paintings.
In 1866, he became a popular Ukiyo-e artist with his series of cruel paintings,
"Heroes for the Twenty-eight Lunar Lodges, with Poems "(Eimei nijûhasshuku),
which he painted together with his senior pupil Ochiai Yoshiiku.
Around 1870, in addition to creating bloody works, he became stressed
by the rapid westernization and changes of the times and suffered a nervous breakdown,
producing few works.
In 1873 he recovered and changed his name to Taiso Yoshitoshi, and made a fresh start.
Unsatisfied with traditional ukiyo-e, he studied the style of Kikuchi Yusai
and Western-style painting, and worked in earnest to improve his painting skills,
painting many works featuring historical events.