Moon of Enlightenment

by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Current Status

Moon of Enlightenment by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Moon of Enlightenment

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.

Moon of Enlightenment - Charming print depicting Hotei, the god of happiness and good fortune. One of Japan's beloved "Seven Lucky Gods," Hotei's name sounds like both "linen bag" and "round belly," so he is often shown with his large belly exposed. He relaxes against his bag filled with treasure, grinning and pointing with delight at the full moon as it suddenly appears from behind the clouds in the sky. Nicely drawn with calligraphic line work and fine bokashi shading. This high quality reprint is an excellent way to acquire this classic image at a fraction of the cost of an original.

Woodblock reprints - In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.

Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)

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

Condition - Excellent overall with no issues to report.

Moon of Enlightenment by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Moon of Enlightenment by Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)