Nakamaro Views the Moon in China

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Nakamaro Views the Moon in China by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Nakamaro Views the Moon in China

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.

Nakamaro Views the Moon in China - During the Nara period, exchange between Japan and China was increasingly common. However traveling between the two countries could be very dangerous, often leaving Japanese visitors stranded in China for years at a time. Abe no Nakamaro (701 - 770) was sent to China to study mathematics but through a series of unfortunate events was never able to return to his homeland. One night, he composed a poem to express his homesickness for Japan:

As I look out into the plains of heaven, can this be the same moon I saw rise in Kasuga behind Mount Mikasa?

Fantastic Yoshitoshi illustration capturing Nakamura's longing for the beauty of Japan.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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

Condition - With excellent color and detail. Backed with paper. Some soiling. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.

Nakamaro Views the Moon in China by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Nakamaro Views the Moon in China by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)