The Japanese woodblock print triptych The Friendly Garden by Toshi Yoshida has been added to the gallery.

The three woodblock prints show the Yoshida family garden. The left hand woodblock print is titled “Pine Tree of the Friendly Garden”, the middle print titled “Bamboo Tree of the Friendly Garden” and the right hand print titled “Plum Tree of the Friendly Garden”. The frames and matting shown in the gallery picture for these woodblock prints is not original.

The triptych was produced by Toshi Yoshida (his only one I believe) in the Yoshida studio and distributed by the Franklin Mint Gallery ca 1980. One would assume the tie-up with the Franklin Mint Gallery was to broaden the appeal of his (or maybe Japanese woodblock prints in general) work in the US. Interestingly the prints were pencil signed in Japanese as opposed to the usual Toshi Yoshida western signature perhaps to add a more ‘exotic’ feel.

The prints were sold in teak frames with acrylic ‘glass’ and mat boards covered in silk. Some of the framing materials are not archival so you should replace them if possible. Of the Toshi Yoshida Franklin Mint Japanese woodblock prints I’ve “de-framed” most of them used something akin to sports tape to tie the print to the mat board. Many of the prints had some damage in the top margin due to this and my framer also advised (some of?) the boards were not acid free. If you do look at getting these woodblock prints remounted using archival quality material you may find that as the teak frames are quite shallow the new materials will stick out past the frame at the rear but that’s not noticeable when hung.

One common ‘quirk’ with the triptych to watch for is that the colouring of the bamboo tree’s can differ between the left hand (Pine) and middle (Bamboo) prints where-as the colouring of the Pine tree which extends from the left print (Pine) into the middle (Bamboo) is consistant.

Friendly Garden - Different Bamboo Colouring

Different Bamboo Colouring

A further thing to note is that the silk covering on the mat boards appear to have come in different colours and occasionally some sets for sale have more than one colour!

Toshi Yoshida Mismatched Matting

Mismatched Matting

If your interested in obtaining Toshi Yoshida’s The Friendly Garden Triptych they do come up periodically. Searching in Google or ebay will usually find one but you may need to be patient. Prices vary from $247USD (the cheapest I’ve seen) to around $1600USD at a web gallery.

I also have three of the four Japanese woodblock prints from his birds of the seasons series which you can view here Toshi Yoshida Franklin Mint Birds of the Seasons.