Maeda no Munehisa was a powerful 16th century priest at Mt. Hiei temple. He is also known by his priestly name, Gen’i. When Oda Nobunaga fell to Akechi Mistuhide, Munehisa guarded the life of Nobunaga’s son. Rewarded for his loyalty and recognized for his talents, Munehisa received a high office and became a political priest. During his time as governor of Kyoto, Munehisa beautified the city. Yoshitoshi portrays Munehisa in his priestly robes, composing a poem at a low, lacquer and gold table. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the moonlight, he writes:
“I usually dislike a cloudy sky
tonight I realize that a cloudy sky
makes me appreciate the light of the moon.”
Yoshitoshi captures the beauty of this moonlight through the overprinted branches of outside and the golden silhouette glowing through the bamboo blinds.