Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was a man in transition, cycling from wealth to poverty, plagued by mental illness, and trapped between Edo tradition and Meiji modernism. Yoshitoshi was darkly impacted by the violence and lawlessness that rocked Japan as feudalism died. He departed from the quiet landscapes and portraits of the Edo world, and created brutal horrifying depictions of war and murder. His vicious themes struck a chord and Yoshitoshi became immensely popular.
Reed Enger, "Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Ghosts, madness, and the blood-soaked end of feudalism," in Obelisk Art History, Published September 27, 2015; last modified May 21, 2018, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/tsukioka-yoshitoshi/.