#JP1-46920
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

Chofu Village Moon

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#JP1-46920
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Chofu Village Moon
Series:
100 Views of the Moon
Medium:
Woodblock Print
Date:
1891
Size:
14.5" x 9.5"
Signature:
Yoshitoshi
Condition:
Very fine color and impression, small tear upper left corner, light original album backing, embellished with embossing.

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Details

Publisher:
Akiyama Buemon
Seals:
Yoshitoshi

About the art

In this peaceful rural scene, a pair of women beat cloth in a mortar. The newly woven fabric was washed in the river, pounded with wooden mallets until soft, and then laid out to dry on the riverbank. Chofu village was known for its high-quality cloth. The word tsuki-mono, or “tribute cloth,” refers to the hand-made cloth that the village sent as a yearly tribute to the imperial court. The moon in the sky indicates that the title is a pun: tsuki can mean either “tribute” or “moon.” 

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. 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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