Yoshitoshi 芳年: Jade Rabbit–Sun Wukong 玉兎 孫悟空 (SOLD)
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Jade Rabbit–Sun Wukong 玉兎 孫悟空
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Tsuki hyakushi 月百姿
Songoku, hero of the epic Chinese novel “Journey to the West” is shown holding his magic staff and playfully frolicking with the moon-dwelling Jade Rabbit in front of an enormous full moon. Songoku is an immortal monkey who accompanied a famous Buddhist monk from China to India in the 7th century to collect Buddhist scriptures. Songoku’s gold-tipped staff could magically grow as big or shrink as small as Monkey desired. The staff was a gift from the Dragon King, who also gifted him a golden mail shirt and other magical gifts. Even in, Songoku was considered impudent and ungovernable by the other immortals. Monkey’s many adventures have delighted people for centuries; even today there are popular movies and manga based on his character. One of Yoshitoshi’s earliest print series in 1864 illustrated Monkey and his Journey to the West. This design is considered one of the top designs in this series, and is especially appreciated by the Japanese. Beautifully printed, with strong woodgrain in the lower sky and in the strong pink of the moon.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (35.6 x 24 cm)
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Signature: Yoshitoshi with his seal
Literature: Keyes 1983, p. 466, no. 478.73. van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 135, no. 54.73. Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 31, no. 98. Stevenson 2001, no. 73. Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 37, no. 2.73. Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2012, p. 154, no. 233. Iwakiri 2014, p. 152, no. 230. See Minneapolis Institute of Art, British Museum