Hideyoshi was born in Owari province into a lowly servant family. As a young man he joined the Oda clan as a retainer. He was noticed for his resourcefulness and rose to high rank within the clan in spite of his peasant origins. He rapidly became one of Oda Nobunaga's most important generals and adopted the name Hideyoshi. He lead a brave force of unbeatable Samurai for his adopted clan. His bravery and dedication to the clan were legendary, and tales of Hideyoshi's heroic exploits have long been a part of Japanese folklore.
Yoshitsuya was a pupil of Kuniyoshi. He worked as a printmaker and an illustrator. Best known are his prints with warriors and with subjects from Japanese legends and history. He also made Japanese tattoo designs (irezumi).