#JP1-46973
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

A Poem by Fukami Jikyu

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#JP1-46973
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
A Poem by Fukami Jikyu
Series:
100 Views of the Moon
Medium:
Woodblock Print
Date:
1887
Size:
14.5" x 9.5"
Signature:
Yoshitoshi
Condition:
Very fine color and impression, light original album backing, embellished with black lacquer and embossing, woodgrain visible.

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Details

Publisher:
Akiyama Buemon
Seals:
Yoshitoshi

About the art

The otokodate were a group of rowdy yet chivalrous townsmen. These vigilantes swaggered about the streets of Edo, showing off their fashionable clothing and defending fellow commoners against overbearing samurai. In this print, the otokodate Fukami Jikyu strikes a bold and prideful pose, carefully calculated to best display the flashy chrysanthemum pattern of his kimono. The black has been burnished, adding to the extravagant nature of the outfit. Cherry blossoms catch the moonlight as they rain through the composition, enhancing the beauty of the scene. Jikyu’s haiku poem in the cartouche implies that although the full moon is very lovely, it is not as handsome as the man himself. 

About the artist

The son of a Tokyo physician, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (né Kinzaburo Yoshioka) is considered one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e art. As a young boy he showed remarkable talent and began to study under the renowned Kuniyoshi at the age of 12. Yoshitoshi also studied under Yosai and was adopted by the Tsukioka family.

 

As modernization pushed ahead, Yoshitoshi suffered a nervous breakdown in 1872, living in poverty and ceasing all artistic production. A year later, he resumed working; adopting the artist name Taiso and fulfilling his creative potential. In 1885, he began one of his most acclaimed series, 100 Views of the Moon. In the spring of 1892, he suffered his final mental breakdown and was committed to the Sugamo Asylum. On the 9th of June 1892, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53.

 

Yoshitoshi’s prints are known for their eerie and imaginative component. He worked in a Japan undergoing rapid change, straddling the domains of the old, feudal systems and the new, modern world. His considerable imagination and originality imbued his prints with a sensitivity and honesty rarely seen in ukiyo-e of this time period. From ghost stories to folktales, graphic violence to the gentle glow of the moon, Yoshitoshi not only offers compositional and technical brilliance, but also unfettered passion.

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