Yoshitoshi 芳年: Abe no Nakamaro and Kibi Gaze at the Moon in China (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Abe no Nakamaro and Kibi Gaze at the Moon in China
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1888

The eighth century courtier Abe no Nakamaro was sent to China to study Chinese methods of measuring time on a mission to the Tang court. He ended up staying for thirty years, and wrote a famous poem about the homesickness he felt for Japan. “As I look out into the vast expanse/can this be the same moon/that I saw rise in Kasuga behind Mount Mikasa?” Here we see Nakamaro and his friend gazing at the full moon from a verandah in China. They wear Chinese robes and the strong pillar between them stands for the isolation that was felt by Nakamaro. 

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Unbacked.
Dimensions: ôban 35.5 x 24 cm
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (San Francisco: San Francisco Graphic Society, 1992), number 64. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi