Toriyama Sekien was an 18th-century ukiyo-e artist of Japanese folklore and scholar. He was the teacher of Utamaro and, a painter of the Kanō school. He was also a printmaking. He is most famous for his attempt to catalogue all species of yōkai in the Hyakki Yagyō series. His work is mostly back and white with an astounding amount of detail. His work is very classically japanese. He attempted to let the reader know about every type of yokai he could and spent a lot of time when making his books working on vivid descriptions and details about each one.
His work is very popular amongst Japanese rare book collectors. It was also very popular in the time people where alive. I wanted to including hi in my journal to show the contrast between the the modern Japanese monster book published by No Brow and the one here, it’s ancient counterpart. Whilst the Bento Bestiary was very fun and simplistic, Toriyama Sekien’s work was very detailed and complicated. Toriyama Sekien focused on giving as much information as possible whilst the Bento Bestiary is all about quite light hearted education. I preder the way of the Bento Bestiary, but I can also very much respect this older way of working. The lines on his prints are so precise and thought out, much like the Bento Bestiary. But of course Toriyama Sekien’s work is filled with much more drama and texture, one that gives life the the creatures in less of the ay of character, but focusing more on their characteristics.