Suzaku Gate Moon

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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Suzaku Gate Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Suzaku Gate 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.

Suzaku Gate Moon - Wonderful night scene showing Minamoto no Hiromasa playing the flute with a stranger beneath the Suzakumon, a main gate near Kyoto. Trained by the blind master Semimaru to play as he did, Hiromasa learned to play as well as his master. A story was told of him where upon hearing thieves breaking into his house, Hiromasa hid under the floorboards. They took everything but a plain wooden flute. Upon them leaving, Hiromasa began to play the flute to settle his nerves, yet the thieves heard his music and were so moved by it that they returned all his valuables. Beautifully detailed with burnishing in the flutes and black court cap, cloth embossing in the white pants, and bokashi shading in the background.

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. Nicely printed. Backed with paper. Minor soiling. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.

Suzaku Gate Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Suzaku Gate Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)