Yoshitoshi 芳年: Hidetsugu in Exile (Sold)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title:  Hidetsugu in Exile
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1889

We see Hidetsugu in exile on Mount Koya, his head bowed as he reflects deeply on his situation. Hidetsugu was a military leader himself and the presumed heir to the famous warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  After displeasing the merciless Hideyoshi, he was conveniently exiled and then forced to commit seppuku, as the ruler accused him of unacceptable behaviors to legitimize getting rid of him. The brutal treatment of Hidetsugu’s family is considered one of the key causes of the downfall of the Toyotomi regime. Here the scene includes the full moon shining through the lattices of the window, referencing the following poem. “Did I ever imagine that, as the clouds of the high autumn sky cleared, I would view the moon through a bamboo lattice window” --Hidetsugu. His retainer sits with him in his virtual prison, and the wild gourd-vine outside further sets the mood. This early impression has been printed with great subtlety and includes blindprinting on the white of his kimono and on the white of the cartouche.

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 75. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi