How much is a Hiroshi Yoshida Print Worth?

How much is a Hiroshi Yoshida Print Worth?

Artist Hiroshi Yoshida has gained worldwide recognition as one of the most important artists of the Japanese shin-hanga (“new prints”) movement. However, for those more accustomed to Western art styles, his atmospheric woodblocks prints can be difficult to evaluate. In this blog post, we’ll try to elaborate on the unique style of Hiroshi Yoshida, and help you evaluate the value of his prints.

Hiroshi Yoshida’s Life

Hiroshi Yoshida was born in 1876 in the city of Kurume, in Japan, in an artistic family. His adoptive father was a painting teacher, and early on Hiroshi began to imitate his style. Looking to improve his skills, the artist moved to Kyoto where he studied Western painting styles, under celebrated painting teacher Tamura Shoryu, after which he continued his studies in Tokyo under Koyama Shōtarō.

Noticing the Western’s fascination with ukiyo-e, during his first U.S. tour in 1899, the artist moved away from oil painting and watercolors and began to focus more on woodblock prints. In 1925, Hiroshi Yoshida opened his own studio where he worked with designers, carvers, and printers to produce some of his finest works.

However, unlike the ukiyo-e system that made a clear division of work between a designer, a carver, and a printer, Hiroshi Yoshida still stayed involved in every part of the printing process, from designing the print, to picking the colors and even helped carve some of the printing blocks. Therefore he positioned himself between the traditional Japanese ukiyo-e collaborative system and the sōsaku-hanga movement that required artists to singlehandedly design, carve and print their pieces. In his later life, Hiroshi Yoshida enjoyed global fame, touring and exhibiting all over the world, until his death on April 5, 1950.

Hiroshi Yoshida’s Sailing Boats 

Hiroshi Yoshida and other artists of the shin-hanga movement combined traditional Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock printing, with Western art styles. The artist combined traditional ukiyo-e subject matter including landscapes, and female figures with the typical Impressionist sensibility for light, perspective, and mood.

His most prominent art series, the 1921 Sailing Boats, powerfully portrays this mixture. The artist used the same woodblocks to recreate an identical scene over and over again but varied colors and shades to depict different moods and times of days. The series shows Hiroshi Yoshida’s exquisite ability to portray the movement of water and intricate reflections in the sea, while the masterful portrayal of space, light, and colors adds his pieces a photographic quality.

Factors Contributing to Hiroshi Yoshida’s Value

The value of Hiroshi Yoshida prints varies and can range between several hundred to several thousand dollars. If you own a Hiroshi Yoshida print and you want to know how much it’s worth, here are a few things that should give you an insight into its value. 

  • Pencil signed vs. signed in plate

The artist’s signature is one of the first things a buyer and an art appraiser will look for in a print.  Hiroshi Yoshida signatures differ depending on the number of impressions and the designated market. Prints originally created for the Japanese market have Japanese signatures written in sumi ink. When prints were made for the Western market, Hiroshi Yoshida would hand sign them in graphite, and titled them in English. 

However, as the number of impressions grew, it was becoming too tedious to pencil sign every impression by hand. That’s why, prints made in many impressions were signed in plate, which means that the signature was engraved into the woodblock, and stamped into the print. Sometimes the artist would sign his prints in plate but would still add a pencil signature on the print. Pencil signed prints are usually more valuable since having a handwritten signature is a sign that the impression was inspected and approved by the artist directly.

Jizuri seal is another mark that the collectors are looking for in a Hiroshi Yoshida print. Jizuri means “self-printed” and can be found on early edition prints where the printing process was closely directed and supervised by Hiroshi Yoshida himself. A jizuri seal is usually placed on the left margin, although occasionally it can be found on the right and the bottom margin. Hiroshi Yoshida stamped a jizuri seal only on his best impressions, which brings these prints additional prestige. Prints with a bright red seal are considered the most valuable as they are very rare (since the majority of jizuri seals are stamped in brown and black). 

Hiroshi Yoshida family have retained the original woodblocks and used them to create later and posthumous versions. Hiroshi Yoshida prints made after his death, don’t have the jizuri seal, nor the quality of the original prints. Unlike prints made by the artist himself, posthumous versions are usually stamp signed. 

  • Size of the print

The majority of Hiroshi Yoshida prints were made in two different sizes (16″ x 10.5″ and 21.5″ x 15.5″). Print size is another important factor to consider, since prints made in larger sizes are usually more expensive than their smaller counterparts.

  • Condition of the print

When determining the overall condition of Japanese prints most appraisers look at three categories: quality of impression, quality of condition and quality of color. Impressions of high quality are crisp and the lines clear. Unfortunately, woodblocks are known to wear off during use, which means that later impressions aren’t as sharp as the first few, which negatively reflects on their price. Quality of color also contributes to the value, as prints that are faded usually cost less than prints with fresh and vivid colors. Finally, quality of condition refers to different types of physical damage that can appear on the print. For example, some prints are glued to the mat which can permanently leave glue residues on the piece. Due to improper handling and storage, numerous bumps, buckling, creases and tears can appear on the print. Certain damages can be repaired and the print restored. However, the restoration itself can reduce the price of a piece, which is why you should consult with an expert before deciding whether to restore and repair a print or just sell it as it is.

Meet our Hiroshi Yoshida Appraisal Experts

With so many different factors to consider, it can be difficult to make a difference between a highly valuable Hiroshi Yoshida print and an impression of lesser value. Luckily, Revere auction’s Asian Art specialists have years of experience in appraising Hiroshi Yoshida works. For a small fee, our experts will evaluate your piece and issue you a certified document confirming its value. And if you decide to sell your Hiroshi Yoshida collection at one of our online auctions, we’ll give you a free complimentary estimate of value. We have already successfully completed sales of Hiroshi Yoshida pieces, and have an excellent understanding of the market for his work. By listing your print to one of Revere online auctions, you’ll instantly gain access to the international network of Hiroshi Yoshida appreciators looking for the latest addition for their collection.

Hiroshi Yoshida’s Children

Apart from Hiroshi Yoshida himself, there are other artists from the Yoshida family whose pieces are highly sought after on the market. Both of Hiroshi Yoshida’s sons grew up to be celebrated artists. The artist’s first son, Tōshi Yoshida, started his career by depicting animals, but quickly turned to romanticized landscape imagery closely resembling his father’s style. After Hiroshi passed away, Tōshi began to create oil paintings, woodblock prints, and illustrations in the style of modern realism and abstraction. Hodaka Yoshida, the artist’s younger son, was a pioneer of copper-etching, lithograph, and silkscreen techniques in Japan, which he skillfully combined with traditional Japanese woodblock printing to create a series of abstract art pieces. Learn more about Hiroshi Yoshida and his family here.

Sell Your Prints

If you have a Hiroshi Yoshida print you would like to sell or have appraised, please contact Revere Auctions. To get the process started, send pictures of your prints to info@revereauctions.com.

Here is a list of all the prints Yoshida published, you should find yours on the list:

Shinkyo 

Utagahama  

A Misty Day in Nikko  

Töshögu Shrine 

Yomei Gate The Way to Kasuga Shrine 

Teahouse 

The Calm Northern Sea and Rishirizan 

Night in the Harbor 

Bamboo Grove 

Benten Torii at Nezugaseki 

Hukou 

Lushan 

Xiaogushan Xingzi Shizhongshan 

Suzhou

A Shrine in the Deep Woods 

Turtles and Carp 

Daibutsu Temple Gate 

Omuro 

A Spa in Spring Sanhudao 

A Park in Guangzhou 

Danshui 

An Osaka Canal 

Little Harbor 

Crescent Moon 

Gold Gate 

Farmhouse 

The Gate in Gold and White 

Takinoo Shrine Hime Castle in the Fivening /Enthronement Edition 

The Japan Advertiser) Maiko Calendar) 

Tsurugisan 

The Fuji New Grand Hotel 

Hirosaki Castle

A Junk

Rapids by a Spa 

The Golden Pavilion 

Evening in Nara 

The Kamo River 

Sarusawa Pond 

Hayase A Small Town in Chugoku District 

A Small Restaurant at Night 

Eight Scenes of Cherry Blossom 

Sankei-en 

 Hirosaki Castle 

 Spring Rain 

 The Chion-in Temple Gate 

 Arashiyama 

 The Cherry Tree at Kawagoe 

Temple Bell Tower 

An Avenue of Cherry Trees in Full Bloom 

Wisteria Garden 

Azalea Garden 

Yoshikawa 

Osaka Castle 

Yasaka Shrine 

Gion Shrine 

Plum Gateway 

Miho 

Suzukawa 

Korea and Manchuria 

Daedong Gate 

Changgyong Palace 

Hokuryo A Market in Mukden 

The Great South Gate at Mukden 

Yamanaka Village 

Shirahama Calm Wind 

Shakujii 

Ikenohata 

Ueno Park 

Cryptomeria Avenue 

English Title 

Kinoe 

India and Southeast Asia Singapore 

The Golden Pagoda of Rangoon

 The Victoria Memorial Kanchenjunga in the Morning

 Kanchenjunga Kanchenjunga in the Afternoon 

The Ghat at Varanasi 

The Taj Mahal Gardens 

The Taj Mahal Gardens at Night 

Fatehpur Sikri Jami Masjid in Delhi

 The Golden Temple at Amritsar 

The Ajmer Gate at Jaipur Elephant 

The Buland Darwaza at Ajmer 

The Palace of Udaipur 

The Cave Temple at Ajanta

 Kailasa Temple at Ellora

 The Great Temple in Madurai 

Morning in Darjeeling 

The Taj Mahal on a Moonlit Night 

The Shalimar Gardens in Lahore 

A Gate to the Stupa of Sanchi Island Palaces in Udaipur 

Snake Charmers 

The Outskirts of Agra 

The Taj Mahal in the Morning Mist No. 

The Taj Mahal at Night No. 

Caravan from Afghanistan  

Caravan from Afghanistan on a Moonlit Night 

The Outskirts of a Town 

The Third Cave Temple in Ellora Kansai 

District A Country Festival at Kono

Night in Kyoto 

The Gate to Bunnosuke Teahouse 

Seta Bridge 

Maruyama Park 

English Title 

Takahama Port on the Inland Sea 

Reflection Lake on Mount Rainier 

New York 

Evening in Pittsburgh 

Evening in Venice 

The Court of Lions, the Alhambra 

 Isola Bella 

The Acropolis at Night 

The Castle of Chillon 

Lake Yamanaka 

Chicks 

Kajiyashiki 

Suiren Marsh at Hakködasan 

Autumn Foliage at Hakködasan 

Itoigawa in the Morning 

Itoigawa in the Evening 

 Fujisan from Gotenba 

Hakuba and Yarigadake 

The Southern Japan Alps Series From the Summit of Komagatake 

A Cave on Komagatake 

Bivouac : Kitadake and Ainodake 

Yatsugatake after Rain Seen from Ishimuro

Komagatake  Above the Clouds 

Ainodake and Notoridake 

 Four Garden Scenes 

Ginkgo in Autumn 

 A Garden in Okayama on a Spring Morning 

 A Garden by Lake Biwa 

 A Garden in the Summer 

 The Inland Sea-Second Series Manabeshima 

 Shiraishijima 

Konoshima 

 Tomonoura Godowns 

Tomonoura Harbor 

Abuto in the Morning 

Waiting for the Tide 

A Calm Day 

Three Little Islands 

Camping at Washibadake 

Yarigadake 

 Climbing a Snow Valley at Harinoki 

Snow Grouse and Dicentra Flowers 

 The Inland Sea Series Glittering Sea Evening after Rain 

Sailing Boats – Morning 

Sailing Boats – Forenoon 

Sailing Boats – Afternoon 

Sailing Boats – Mist 

Sailing Boats – Evening 

Sailing Boats – Night 

Tomonoura Ten Views of Fuji Lake Kawaguchi Sunrise 

Yoshida Village Funatsu

Sunrise Rite 

The Horse Turnback at Umagaeshi 

The Kengamine Summit 

 Autumn 

 Okitsu 

 Musashino 

 Twelve Scenes of Tokyo 

The Sumida River 

  The Sumida River in the Evening 

The Sumida River in the Mist  

Water Lilies in the Botanical Garden 

Autumn in the Hyakka-en Kameido 

 The Iris Garden at Horikiri  

Dipping for Goldfish The Tokugawa Peony Garden at Ochiai 

 Shinobazu Pond 

Snow at Nakazato 

 Hirakawa Bridge 

Kagurazaka Street after a Night Rain   

The Old Inner Citadel 

The Sacred Garden in Meiji Shrine Scroll) 

Afternoon in a Pasture 

Hodakadake 

Sailing Boats:Morning Sunlight

 Sailing Boats : Daylight 

Sailing Boats: Evening Glow 

Sailing Boats: Night Registered in

A Hunter’s Story 

The Horse Turnback at Umagaeshi 

The Honolulu Aquarium 

El Capitan 

The Grand Canyon 

Niagra Falls 

Mount Rainier 

Lake Moraine Europe Series The Jungfrau 

The Wetterhorn 

The Breithorn 

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn at Night 

The Town of Lugano 

A Canal in Venice  

The Acropolis Ruins 

The Acropolis Ruins at Night 

The Sphinx 

The Sphinx at Night 

Twelve Scenes in the Japan 

Alps Sunrise on Eboshidake Morning on Tsurugisan 

From the Summit of Shiroumadake 

Hodakadake From Daitenjödake 

Goshikigahara 

The Kurobe River 

Tateyama Betsuzan