Yoshitoshi: Emperor Jimmu (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Emperor Jimmu
Series: Illustrated History of Great Japan (Dai nippon-shi ryaku zue)
Date: 1880

Portrait of Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan who lived in the 7th century BC. He is posed almost like the Buddhist saint Shôki, the Demon Queller and bears a mirror on his chest, perhaps an allusion to his relative Amaterasu, the sun goddess. He firmly grasps his bow, which holds a powerful and unusual-looking bird perched atop it. Jimmu was associated with a magical 3-legged crow, but this bird is golden brown and looks like a cross between a hawk and an owl. The power of Jimmu overwhelms the ordinary and rather rough -looking Japanese, some of whom seem to have been struck blind. This work is unlisted in Keyes, Beauty & Violence and yoshitoshi.net. Extremely rare.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Dark blue pigment near right margin smeared at the time of printing.
Dimensions: ôban triptych
Publisher: Tsunashima Kamekichi
Literature: Unlisted in Keyes (series 418), unlisted in Beauty & Violence (series number 38), and unlisted in yoshitoshi.net.
Signature: Taiso Yoshitoshi