The Gion District

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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The Gion District by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Gion District

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.

The Gion District - Handsome illustration from Act VII of the classic kabuki play, "Kanadehon Chushingura," the famous tale of the 47 ronin. Here, Oboshi Rikiya, the son of the leader of the ronin, Oboshi Yuranosuke, pauses outside the garden gate of the Ichiriki Teahouse as he prepares to deliver a secret letter about the vendetta to his father. He looks warily over his shoulder, making sure that no one has seen him, a black lacquer document box in his hand. A full moon glows high above trees in dark silhouette against the evening sky, and a warm glow comes from a window at right. A lovely, quiet scene from this classic drama, beautifully detailed with burnishing on the black trim of the coat, fine bokashi shading, and strong wood grain impression in the sky.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Image Size - 8 3/4" x 13" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Please see photos for details.

The Gion District by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
The Gion District by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)