Yoshitoshi 芳年: Kazan Temple Moon (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: Kazan Temple Moon
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1890

We see the former emperor Kazan walking in the hills of Kyoto, presumably at the temple where he was retired after abdicating at the age of 19. Apparently Kazan was tricked into abdicating by taking presumably secret priestly vows while in mourning for his favorite consort. The temple is Gangyo, which was later renamed Kazan Temple, where he died in 1008 at the age of forty-one. Kazan wears a transparent cloth over his cap of rank and is accompanied by a single loyal retainer. There is a complex black-on-black pattern on Kazan’s robe that can only be seen in reflected light. It is difficult to know if this is the actual night of the secret ceremony, which occurred before dawn under a full moon, or if this is a scene from later years that shows a contemplative moment of reflection.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
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 90. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi