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"Exploring the Influence of Kuniyoshi's 108 Suikoden Warriors Series on Tattooing and Artwork"

Updated: May 28


Today we are exploring the awesome artist from Japan known to the world as Utugawa Kuniyoshi. He is well known for his incredible woodblock prints, a true master indeed. We will go into a short blog about how his work still has relevance and appreciation from Art enthusiasts from around the globe.

His Suikoden series tells of rebels who dwell outside society's rules, yet fight for the folk downtrodden. Over one hundred rogues took refuge in Liangshan Marsh, much like English outlaws in Sherwood Forest. Though Chinese tales be their muse, themes of aiding the afflicted ring true in any land. Stories of warriors battling against their oppressors have always rang true in the hearts of Soul searchers and Spiritual outlaws.

tattoo suikoden warrior Kuniyoshi
Suikoden Warrior wore Tattoos

With paint and paper, Kuniyoshi brought these rebels' exploits to vibrant life. His ôban prints stand near a handspan tall, large as life to capture each fighter's fierce spirit. Never before had one artist devoted an whole series to depicting legendary combatants. Through his pioneering pictures, the name Kuniyoshi gained renown far and wide.


Now you too can embark on the marshland missions of Suikoden's defiant dozen. Let Kuniyoshi be your guide into the pages of pictured prowess and camaraderie. I hope you'll find adventure and insight in the stories within stories his bold prints weave. And should you wish to learn more tales, I'll gladly spin you some more over a pint of Sapporo while looking over some of our recent products.

Suikoden warrior Kuniyoshi
Suikoden Warrior In Action

Utagawa Kuniyoshi was indeed a masterful artist of the Edo period in Japan who created his renowned "108 Suikoden" series depicting heroic warriors. While he lived in a time of relative peace following the years of civil war, Kuniyoshi drew inspiration from tales of daring soldiers and statesmen from eras past.


He was born in 1797 in the thriving capital city of Edo (now known as Tokyo) during the height of Japan's peaceful Tokugawa Shogunate. Though he came from a poor family, Kuniyoshi showed great artistic talent from a young age and was apprenticed to the famous woodblock printer Utagawa Toyokuni. Under Toyokuni's tutelage, Kuniyoshi studied the refined "Ukiyo-e" style of artwork and etching that had become so popular amongst townsfolk, depicting scenes of everyday life, kabuki actors, and landscapes.

Suikoden Warrior Kuniyoshi Japan Nihon
Suikoden in Nihon

By his early 20s, Kuniyoshi had surpassed his master in draughtsmanship and established his own name within the Utagawa school. Wishing to portray figures of nobility, strength and valor, he turned to tales of folk heroes from Japan's near past during its period of warfare and civil conflict known as the "Sengoku period". And thus, the ambitious project of the 108 Suikoden portraits was conceived. Through the late 1820s and 1830s, Kuniyoshi devoted himself to crafting meticulously detailed prints of legendary warriors like Date Masamune,

Saika Magoichi, and Shimazu Yoshihiro who dared to stand up to oppression.

The diverse characters captured people's imaginations and became an enduring part of Japan's cultural heritage. While Kuniyoshi passed away in 1861, his works endure as some of the finest populist art to come out of that splendid epoch. He brought history alive through his gifted hand, ensuring these proud defenders of justice would live on for generations to appreciate and enjoy.

You can find prints and more related products on our online store, we are currently trying to find a way to share these prints with the world at a reasonable cost. As they are considered rare, and would be an awesome opportunity for any collector to have a quality print.

Mahalo Nui

True Story Design LLC
True Story Design LLC

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Tim Sykes
Tim Sykes
12. Mai

Wonderful blog post bro!

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