Yoshitoshi 芳年: Saga Moor Moon 嵯峨野乃月 (SOLD)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Saga Moor Moon 嵯峨野乃月
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1891

The courtier Nakakuni has been combing the countryside, looking for the beautiful Kogô no Tsubune on the orders of the emperor. He is sure that he will find her by recognizing her skillful playing of the koto. He assumes rightly that she will play her instrument by the full moon, and one night on the Saga Moors he hears her playing and responds with a tune on his flute, which she recognizes and responds to on her koto. Tsubone does return to court and bears the emperor a daughter--following this, due to court politics she is forced to become a nun at the age of 23. Here we see Nakakuni playing his flute beneath the full moon, his horse waiting patiently beside him, perhaps enjoying the tune. We glimpse Tsubone in a modest hut in the distance, beyond the autumn field of flowers and grasses. This story forms an episode in book six of the 13th century Heike monogatari. This is a beautifully printed and very early edition, with woodgrain in the sky and the lacquer-imitating effect on the black areas and blindprinting on the white title cartouche.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Unbacked.
Dimensions: ôban 35.5 x 24 cm
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: Stevenson #99. See the British Museum, FAMSF online collections.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi