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