Kazan Temple Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Kazan Temple Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Kazan Temple Moon

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.

Kazan Temple Moon - Terrific Yoshitoshi print depicting the Emperor Kazan leaving the Imperial grounds before dawn to take the vows of a priest at Gangyo Temple, later renamed after him. When he became emperor as a teenager, he was seen as a threat to the Fujiwara clan, a powerful political force in Japan at that time. A politician talked him into joining the priesthood and giving up his throne. Here, he pauses beneath pine trees as a retainer hurries up the hill behind him, watching over his shoulder with his hand on the hilt of his sword, ready to draw if anyone should attempt to stop them. A full moon glows high above the distant mountain in soft gray silhouette. A handsome design detailed with a beautiful burnished scroll pattern on the young man's black robe.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Image Size - 12 7/8" x8 3/4" + margins as shown

Condition - A clean print with nice color and detail as shown and nice margins. A couple small marks. Please see photos for details.

Kazan Temple Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Kazan Temple Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)