Toriyama Sekien

Toriyama Sekien
Cover of the Gazu Hyakki Yagyo.
  • Birth: 1712
  • Death: 1788
  • Period: Edo Period
  • Occupation: Artist

Toriyama Sekien

Toriyama Sekien (鳥山 石燕) was born 1712 and died 1788. Most notably known for his four compendiums on the Yōkai he was the first person to systematically categorise them.

He was born Sano Toyofusa and was part of the Obōzu. When he came of age he inherited the title of Obōzu, though it is unsure what he did with the title. During his life he was never recognised as a Kanō-ha (Kanō Painter).

Later in his career he took many apprentices, several becoming well-renowned artists later in their lives, including Utagawa Toyoharu and Kitagawa Utamaro.

In 1773 he published the Toriyamabiko.

His Yōkai works were greatly inspired by the 10th Century Demon Horde’s Night Parade (Hyakki Yagyō), but his first compendium was also inspired by the Hyakkai Zukan. Other inspirations were the Wakan Sansai Zue.

He is most notably works on Yōkai are:


1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: over Publications, Inc.

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Toriyama Sekien