Yoshitoshi 芳年: Moon of the enemy’s lair--Prince Ousu 賊巣の月

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Moon of the enemy’s lair--Prince Ousu 賊巣の月
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1886/87

The legendary hero Prince Ouso (the young Yamato Takeru no mikoto) was the third son of the 2nd century Emperor Keiko. In this scene he has been sent to crush a rebellion on the island of Kyushu and has disguised himself as a woman by donning his aunt’s clothes. Yoshitoshi has chosen to depict the calm before the storm, just at the moment that the prince is about to join the rebel feast, sword hidden beneath his robe. He will then wait until the chieftains are drunk before making use of the sword to attack his enemies. The manner that the the smoke has been depicted as it floats in front of the patterned curtain shows the mastery of the printers and the creativity of the artist. There is lead pigment that is oxidized in the deep orange trousers as well as just a hint in the smoke at top. This is an unusually early impression.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Unbacked.
Dimensions: ôban (35.6 x 24 cm)
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: Stevenson #42. See Yale Art Gallery, British Museum, FAMSF online collections. 
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi