Yoshitoshi 芳年: The Moon’s Inner Vision: Taira no Tomoume

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: The Moon’s Inner Vision: Taira no Tomoume
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1886

The  blind warrior Tara no Tomoume parries a blow directed at him from behind. He seems to sense his opponent’s moves, just like the fictional blind swordsman Zatoichi. This is sadly his final battle, and he wears a poem written on a slip of paper and fastened to a stick as his personal emblem. The heartbreaking poem reads: from darkness/I have wandered lost/on to a darker path/the moon of my heart/is becoming clouded. This poem is the reference to the moon, which is not shown. On the ground is scattered a variety of weapons that have fallen as well as a white standard, bloodlessly indicating the ferocity of the fight.

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