Yoshitoshi 芳年: Inamura Promontory Moon at Daybreak 稲村か崎の明ほのゝ月 (Sold)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: Inamura Promontory Moon at Daybreak 稲村か崎の明ほのゝ月
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1886

The 14th century general Nitta no Yoshisada stands at the edge of the sea, raising his sword as the sun brightens the sky behind him. Behind him, unseen, are a force of twenty thousand men who are about to advance on Kamakura on behalf of Emperor Go-Daigo. Yoshisada has halted his troops in order to pray to the deities of the sea, as he and his men seem trapped by enemy warships with archers at sea and enemy soldiers lining the cliffs above them. As a token of his sincerity he offers his sword into the waves, which is the moment that Yoshitoshi has captured here. The moon shines only in its three-quarter state, and the horizon has been printed with oxidizing lead pigment. The dragon king, ruler of the tides, seems to have heeded Yoshisada’s request, as in the morning the tide ebbed out far enough for his men to advance against Kamakura and defeat the Hojo clan. Hints of the dragon king may be seen in the general’s elaborate breastplate pattern that includes a dragon in its design. An exceptionally early impression, with woodgrain visible in the sky and perfect color.

Condition: Excellent impression and color. 
Dimensions: ôban 35.6 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 39. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum, MFA Boston museum collections.
Signature: Yoshitoshi