Japanese samurai warrior woodblock prints (musha-e of ukiyo-e)

The heros for the people of Edo with ukiyo-e woodblock prints

Kabuki and ukiyo-e are the amenities for the townspeople in Edo period (1603-1683). Samurai and ancient battle were one of the popular themes of the theatrical performance and woodblock printing. The stories of samurai made them excited and grieved same as today. 


Though there were countless ukiyo-e artists in Edo period, not all of them drew the pictures of samurai, musha-e (武者絵). The only artists who were good at expressing their bravery and painfulness with impressive pictures. Especially Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) and his disciple Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). 



The ukiyo-e woodblock prints of samurai (musha-e)



Okumura Masanobu (1686-1764)







Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)


Watanabe Shizuma



Nakamura Masatatsu




Tominomori Masakata




Honjo Shigenaga





Morozumi Masakiyo


Learn more about Utagawa kuniyoshi



Ochiai/Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)


Kato Yoshiaki



Konishi Yukinaga



Amago Katsuhisa



Suzuki Magoichi







Utagawa Yoshitora (fl. c. 1836-1882)


Battle of Kurikara in Kaga Province



Battle of Okehazama



The Best 16 commanders of Tokugawa Clan



Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)


Oya Mitsukuni and ghosts



Tomoe gozen




Fujimara Yasumasa plays the flute in moonlight




The Loyal Samurai Break into the Mansion in the Night Attack







Books about samurai ukiyo-e prints

Samurai Ghost And Monster Wars: Supernatural Art by Kuniyoshi (Ukiyo-e Master Series) (Paperback)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) is regarded as one of the true masters of ukiyo-e, the art of Edo-period Japan. Kuniyoshi produced thousands of prints and designs during his lifetime, but is perhaps best-known for his musha-e (“warrior prints”), with which he came to prominence in 1830. Kuniyoshi’s series 108 Heroes Of The Suikoden from that year was revolutionary in its dynamics, colour and visual violence, epitomising the delirious, almost proto-psychedelic style with with the artist would recreate archetypal figures ― both human and demonic ― from Japanese myth over the ensuing decades.

SAMURAI GHOST AND MONSTER WARS collects and considers 100 of Kuniyoshi’s most vivid and complex images of warriors, spectres, demons and monstrous beasts, presented in large-format and full-colour throughout.

NEW REVISED AND UPGRADED EDITION: Many new pictures, improved picture quality throughout, high-gauge paper stock.

New From: $23.78 USD In Stock
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The Savage Samurai: Warrior Prints 1800-1899 by Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi & Others (Ukiyo-e Master Series) (Paperback)

MUSHA-E (“warrior pictures”) constitute one of the major and most dynamic sub-genres of ukiyo-e, the populist art of 19th century Japan.

From Hokusai to Kyosai, virtually all of ukiyo-e’s greatest artists created musha-e, in particular Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi. It was Kuniyoshi who, inspired by the likes of Hokusai, Kunisada and Toyokuni, popularized the warrior print with his series 108 Suikoden Heroes in 1827. In his wake came Yoshitora, Yoshikazu, Yoshitsuya, Yoshiiku, Kuniteru, Kunichika, Toyonobu, Nobukazu, and many other classic artists, forming a body of dazzling, often bloody works which span the 19th century.

“The Savage Samurai” presents 300 rare and exceptional Japanese warrior prints, presented in full-page format and full colour throughout. These pictures are collected in the same volume for the first time ever, forming a definitive introduction to ukiyo-e’s most visually arresting and exciting sub-genre.

The Ukiyo-e Master Series: presenting seminal collections of art by the greatest print-designers and painters of Edo-period and Meiji-period Japan.

New From: $45.64 USD In Stock
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100 Dogs Of War: Samurai Art by Yoshitoshi (Ukiyo-e Master Specials) (Paperback)

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s triptychs and portrait series of the 1860s were predominatly musha-e (“warrior prints”), often with added mythological elements, and invariably drawn from Japanese military history, mostly from the 12th to 16th centuries. Yoshitoshi’s major musha-e series, in terms of both its scope and its dynamic visual experimentation, remains Kaidai hyaku senso, or 100 Dogs Of War.

Yoshitoshi was reputedly driven to create this series in 1868 after witnessing first-hand the bloody Battle of Ueno, a decisive clash of the civil war in Japan. Although inspired by recent events, the series again depicted warriors from Japanese history, showing some clasping bloody severed heads as trophies of war, others with their own viscera spilling out from the “belly cut” of seppuku (ritual suicide), others in the heat of battle firing guns, hurling spears, wielding swords or dodging bullets. Every aspect of war is represented. There are 65 known completed prints from the series, and several surviving drawings and sketches for designs which apparently never reached fruition; failure to complete the set is attributed both to censorship and to the nervous breakdown which Yoshitoshi reportedly experienced in 1869, an event which resulted in his virtual disappearance from the ukiyo-e scene for the following two years.

This Ukiyo-e Master Special edition of Yoshitoshi’s 100 Dogs Of War contains not only Yoshitoshi’s full set of 65 completed battle prints, reproduced in full-size and full-colour, but also several fascinating preparatory drawings for unfinished designs. The collection also features an extensive illustrated introduction on Yoshitoshi’s warrior prints from 1853 to 1889, bringing the total number of colour reproductions in the book to over 90.

Ukiyo-e Master Specials: presenting individual art series by the greatest print-designers and painters of Edo-period and Meiji-period Japan.

New From: $25.79 USD In Stock
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