Toriyama Sekien

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A Mikoshi-nyudo, specifically a Miage-nyudo, as portrayed by Toriyama SekienMikoshi.jpg
A Mikoshi-nyūdō, specifically a Miage-nyūdō, as portrayed by Toriyama

Toriyama Sekien (鳥山 石燕, 1712 September 22, 1788) is the pen-name of Sano Toyofusa, an 18th-century scholar, kyōka poet, and ukiyo-e artist of Japanese folklore. Born to a family of high-ranking servants to the Tokugawa shogunate, he was trained by Kanō school artists Kanō Gyokuen and Kanō Chikanobu, although he was never officially recognized as a Kanō school painter. [1]

Contents

Art career

After retiring from service to the shogunate, he became a teacher to numerous apprentices in poetry and painting. He was among the first to apply Kanō techniques to ukiyo-e printmaking, inventing key new techniques along the way, such as fuki-bokashi, which allowed for replicating color gradations. [2] Most famously, he was the teacher of Kitagawa Utamaro and Utagawa Toyoharu. [3]

Sekien is best known for his mass-produced illustrated books of yōkai that had appeared in Hyakki Yagyō monster parade scrolls. The first book proved popular enough to spawn three sequels, the last of which features yōkai mainly out of Sekien's imagination. Although sometimes described as a "demonologist," his work is better described as a literary parody of encyclopedias such as the Japanese Wakan Sansai Zue or the Chinese Classic of Mountains and Seas , which were popular in Japan at the time. [4] His portrayals of these creatures from folklore essentially established their visual portrayals in the public's mind and deeply inspired other Japanese artists in his own and later eras, including ukiyo-e artists Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Kawanabe Kyōsai, and manga artist Mizuki Shigeru. [5]

Notable works

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<i>Chōchin-obake</i> Japanese yōkai

Chōchin-obake is a Japanese yōkai of chōchin, "[the] lantern-spook (chochinobake) ... a stock character in the pantheon of ghouls and earned mention in the definitive demonology of 1784." They can also be called simply chōchin, bake-chōchin, obake-chōchin, and chōchin-kozō.

Akashita

Akashita is a Japanese yōkai that appears in yōkai emaki in the Edo Period, among other places. They are depicted as a beast with clawed hands and a very hairy face covered with dark clouds, but its full body appearance is unknown. In its opened mouth is a big tongue.

Abura-akago Japanese yōkai

Abura-akago is a Japanese yōkai that appeared illustrated in Toriyama Sekien's mid-Edo period Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, as an infant spirit lapping oil out of an andon lamp.

Jinmenju

Jinmenju or Ninmenju is a legendary Japanese tree in the Edo Period Konjaku Hyakki Shūi by Toriyama Sekien.

<i>Hyakki Yagyō</i>

Hyakki Yagyō, variation: Hyakki Yakō, is an idiom in Japanese folklore. Sometimes an orderly procession, other times a riot, it refers to an uncontrolled horde of countless numbers of supernatural creatures known as oni and yōkai. As a terrifying eruption of the supernatural world into our own, it is similar to the concept of pandemonium in English.

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō is the first book of Japanese artist Toriyama Sekien's famous Gazu Hyakki Yagyō e-hon tetralogy, published in 1776. A version of the tetralogy translated and annotated in English was published in 2016. Although the title translates to "The Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons", it is based on an idiom, hyakki yagyō, that is akin to pandemonium in English and implies an uncountable horde. The book is followed by Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, Konjaku Hyakki Shūi, and Gazu Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro.

Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki is the second book of Japanese artist Toriyama Sekien's famous Gazu Hyakki Yagyō tetralogy, published c. 1779. A version of the tetralogy translated and annotated in English was published in 2016. These books are supernatural bestiaries, collections of ghosts, spirits, spooks, and monsters, many of which Toriyama based on literature, folklore, other artwork. These works have had a profound influence on subsequent yōkai imagery in Japan. Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki is preceded in the series by Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, and succeeded by Konjaku Hyakki Shūi and Gazu Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro.

Konjaku Hyakki Shūi is the third book of Japanese artist Toriyama Sekien's Gazu Hyakki Yagyō tetralogy, published c. 1781. These books are supernatural bestiaries, collections of ghosts, spirits, spooks and monsters, many of which Toriyama based on literature, folklore, and other artwork. These works have had a profound influence on subsequent yōkai imagery in Japan. Konjaku Hyakki Shūi is preceded in the series by Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, and succeeded by Gazu Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro.

Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro is the fourth book in Japanese artist Toriyama Sekien's famous Gazu Hyakki Yagyō tetralogy. A version of the tetralogy translated and annotated in English was published in 2016. The title is a pun; "hyakki", normally written with the characters "hundred" and "oni", is instead written with "hundred" and "vessels". This hints that the majority of the yōkai portrayed in its pages are of the variety known as tsukumogami, man-made objects taken sentient form. Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro is preceded in the series by Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, and Konjaku Hyakki Shūi.

Ameonna

Ameonna is a Japanese yōkai thought to call forth rain, illustrated in Toriyama Sekien's Konjaku Hyakki Shūi as a woman standing in the rain and licking her hand.

Uwan A disembodied voice from Japanese folklore

An uwan (うわん) is a Japanese yōkai depicted in Edo Period pictures such as the Hyakkai Zukan by Sawaki Suushi and the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Sekien Toriyama.

Satori (folklore)

Satori in Japanese folklore are mind-reading monkey-like monsters ("yōkai") said to dwell within the mountains of Hida and Mino.

Hone-onna

Hone-onna is a yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki (1779) by Toriyama Sekien. As its name implies, it depicts this yōkai as a woman in the form of bones.

Nurarihyon Japanese yōkai

Nurarihyon is a Japanese yōkai.

<i>Yamabiko</i> (folklore)

Yamabiko (山彦) is a mountain god, spirit, and yōkai in Japanese folklore. Literally translated, "yamabiko" means "echo". It is the yōkai responsible for the natural phenomenon in mountains or canyons. Living deep in the mountains, direct encounters with the yamabiko are rare. Often they are heard, but never seen. The small and elusive yokai wasn't officially classified until the Edo period in Japan. Instead the bizarre noises coming from the mountain were attributed to a natural phenomenon, like birds, and not given any spiritual significance. It is usually depicted with gray fur, peach-colored belly, floppy ears, large grin, and arms outstretched as though it is caught mid-shrug.

Nuribotoke

The Nuribotoke (塗仏) is a yōkai found in Japanese yōkai emaki such as the Hyakkai Zukan by Sawaki Suushi. They are also depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien.

Tsurubebi

The tsurubebi is a fire yōkai that appears in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien.

Noderabō Japanese mythical creatures

The noderabō is a Japanese yōkai from Toriyama Sekien's Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and is thought to be a yōkai that appears at abandoned temples.

<i>Ouni</i>

The ouni (苧うに) is a yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien.

References

  1. Davis, Julie (2015). Partners in Print: Artistic Collaboration and the Ukiyo-e Market. University of Hawaii Press. p. 25. ISBN   978-0-8248-3938-3.
  2. Davis, Julie (2007). Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty. University of Hawaii Press. p. 33. ISBN   978-0-8248-3199-8.
  3. Yoda, Hiroko; Alt, Matt (2017). Japandemonium Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien. Dover Publications. p. vii. ISBN   978-0-4868-0035-6.
  4. Yoda, Hiroko; Alt, Matt (2017). Japandemonium Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien. Dover Publications. pp. viii–ix. ISBN   978-0-4868-0035-6.
  5. Yoda, Hiroko; Alt, Matt (2017). Japandemonium Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien. Dover Publications. p. ix. ISBN   978-0-4868-0035-6.