In my original article on Toshi Yoshida woodblock print signatures I omitted to include a sample of what you will find on the verso of the prints. As the verso tells you clearly if a print is a Toshi Yoshida lifetime edition (either pencil signed or raised seal edition) or a posthumous one I’ve corrected that oversight below.
The pictures show the Yoshida woodblock print Kikuzaka Street. The woodblocks for this print are generally reported as having been carved by Toshi Yoshida himself and were produced in 1939.
The following picture below shows a lifetime pencil signed edition woodblock print on the left and a posthumous stamped edition on the right hand side.
The picture below shows the verso of the same woodblock prints. Again, the pencil signed woodblock print is on the left and the stamped woodbock print is on the right.
Looking at the bottom right hand corner of the stamped edition woodblock print you will note a vertically stacked series of Japanese kanji characters. The presence of these characters indicates this is a posthumous print. The characters say ‘later printing by printer’ and then give the printers name. Typically the printers name would be Komatsu Heihachi or Numabe but there may be others.
I’m asked on occasion whether someone should buy a pencil signed or posthumous woodblock print. That’s not a question I can really answer for someone else. There are the basic fundamentals of cost and quality, after that its really personal preference. Generally speaking Toshi Yoshida pencil signed prints cost any where from two to three times the cost of a posthumous print. The quality of the posthumous woodlbock prints is very high, as expected given they were produced by the Yoshida family studio.
For myself, I primarily buy pencil signed prints but do on occasion buy posthumous prints. There is at least one Toshi Yoshida woodlock print where only posthumous prints have ever been produced.
As a side note, I did read somewhere recently that Toshi Yoshida posthumous prints were no longer being produced – or perhaps no longer able to be produced due to the state of the woodblocks.