Yoshitoshi 芳年: Sumiyoshi Full Moon –Lord Teika and the God of Poetry (SOLD) 住よしの名月

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: Sumiyoshi Full Moon –Lord Teika and the God of Poetry 住よしの名月
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1887

Fujiwara no Sadaie (Lord Teika) was a famous poet who lived in the 13th century and was a master of tanka, the evocative 31-syllable poetry form. Here we see Teika falling into slumber on the verandah of the Shinto shrine at Sumiyoshi, a shrine dedicated to the god of poetry. It was said that this deity would appear to eminent poets who spent the night at this shrine, and here we see the deity himself floating in the air in front of the sleeping poet, perhaps about to enter his dreams and inspire him. The God of Poetry appears as an old man with voluminous white robes that have been blind-printed, and he bears the bulging forehead of an immortal, an indication of his wisdom. As Stevenson notes, the deity seems to be taking the place of the unseen moon, and the atenashi bokashi (”borderless printing”) that creates the cloud around him was a difficult process for the printer. This is a stunning early impression, with blindprinting also in the robes of the sleeping man and in the white cartouche, as well as lacquer-like printing in the black areas of the design. Stevenson notes that the grey block in the robe of the deity also only occurs in first editions of this design. A perfect print for creatives in need of immortal inspiration!

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