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Lithography was a well established medium in Japan in the late 19th century. It allowed artists to produce work in a different way, escaping some of the constraints of wood block prints. Gekko produced work in this medium frequently for magazines such as Fuzoku Gaho and Bungei Kurabu. He produced at least one book of lithographs of traditional artisans. His lithographs were also used in newspapers and on calendars. Popular themes included traditional tales, Bijin and the Sino Japanese war. This latter event led Gekko to produce some particularly poignant images, including ‘Chinese troops dead of smoke inhalation’, and one of a ‘Red Cross Hospital’. Those shown here are only a fraction of his work in this medium but include one of ‘Firefighters’ which has an almost impressionist feel to its sky, and a particularly modern looking young lady from the September 1914 edition of Bungei Kurabu. “12 Months of Working Horses” is a full set.

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