Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites

100 Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi)

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon - Considered his masterwork, Yoshitoshi's series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon features one hundred oban size woodblocks, published between 1885 and 1892. These quiet and reflective prints, beautifully composed and drawn, feature subjects from traditional Japanese and Chinese history and legend, rendered with great sensitivity and emotion. The moon appears in all but a few prints, providing a unifying motif for the series.

Yoshitoshi's innovative designs for the Moon series are often elegantly spare, with simple backgrounds that focus attention on the human figure. He combines the western influences of realism and perspective with qualities from traditional Japanese and Chinese painting, such as the emphasis on calligraphic brushstroke. The figures are carefully drawn with beautiful linework, conveying a real sense of individual character, gesture, and emotion. Special printing techniques such as embossing and burnishing add a sumptuous touch where appropriate, but simple subjects are conveyed in a likewise manner, no less carefully observed.

Prints from the series were released singly or in groups every few months, with the final image completed shortly before Yoshitoshi's death. The series proved tremendously popular, with patrons lining up to purchase the new releases as soon as they became available. Today, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon remains Yoshitoshi's most well-known work, characterized by his artistry, compassion, and sensitivity in portraying the human experience.

Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites - Colorful Yoshitoshi depiction of the Sanno Festival, a Shinto celebration held every June to correspond with the full moon. Still celebrated today, the festival includes parades with carriages, costumed participants, and floats like this one, which features a dancer in elegant robes and a flowing red wig waving a gohei, a Shinto wand of folded paper strips. At lower right, a rooster perches atop a decorated drum. The dawn moon is just visible in the blue sky above, with white clouds drifting below. A handsome illustration of this traditional procession.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. A couple thin spots, repaired. Some soiling. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)