#JP1-47044
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

Inaba Mountain Moon

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#JP1-47044
Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Inaba Mountain Moon
Series:
100 Views of the Moon
Medium:
Woodblock Print
Date:
1885
Size:
14.5" x 9.5"
Signature:
Yoshitoshi
Condition:
Very fine color and impression, light original album backing, embellished with black lacquer and embossing

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Details

Publisher:
Akiyama Buemon
Seals:
Yoshitoshi no In

About the art

Mt. Inaba, near present-day Gifu City, was formerly the site of the castle that controlled Mino province. During the civil wars at the end of the 16th century, the castle passed from hand to hand and was finally destroyed, leaving only a picturesque ruin. Yoshitoshi recalls the castle in its former glory. Here, a soldier is seen scaling the mountain in the light of the moon, probably for a surprise attack on the castle. A strikingly large moon hangs low beneath the soldier as he digs his fingers into the mountainside, pulling himself up. In this print, Yoshitoshi focuses on the emotional world of an individual warrior. 

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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