Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年) (artist 04/30/1839 – 06/09/1892)
Moon of Pure Snow Asano - Chikako the Filial Daughter (Asanogawa seisetsu no tsuki - Kōjo Chikako [孝女ちか子]), from the series 100 Aspects of The Moon (Tsuki hyaku sugata - 月百姿)
9.625 in x 14 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Yoshitoshi (芳年)
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Date: Meiji 18, 11th Month
Carver: Enkatsu (彫工円活)
Tokyo Metropolitan Library
Art Gallery of New South Wales
National Gallery of Australia
Museum of International Folk Art
National Diet Library
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Keio University Library
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Phoenix Art Museum
National Museum of Asian Art
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery
Centre Céramique de Maastricht
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Dayton Art Institute
Yale University Art Gallery "This story is taken from actual events which were fairly recent history for Yoshitoshi. Chikako was the daughter of Zeniya Gohei (1798-1855), a ship builder and entrepreneur in northern Japan. During a famine, Gohei became something of a hero when he used his many ships to transport rice to needy areas. At the same time he became very rich. He then proposed to fill in a lake and turn it into rice fields, and borrowed a huge amount of money for the project. The local fishermen violently opposed the scheme, the money ran out, and Zeniya was thrown into jail.
Chikako prayed for her father's release. To demonstrate her sincerity she committed suicide one snowy night by jumping into the Asano river. Her sacrifice was in vain - Zeniya died in prison, and his son was beheaded." Quoted from: Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects fo the Moon by John Stevenson, #10. This is accompanied by a full-page illustration in color.
Later Stevenson wrote: "[This] composition is almost identical to a book illustration by Hokusai of 1807, which Yoshitoshi may have seen, of Lady Hatsuhana committing suicide by jumping into Lake Ōsawa."
1) In color in The World of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Tsukioka Yoshitoshi no Sekai - 月岡芳年の世界) by Susugu Yoshida, p. 86, #57.
2) In color in a quarter-page reproduction in Yoshitoshi: The Splendid Decadant by Shinichi Segi, p. 60.
3) In Roger Keyes doctoral thesis, 'Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: 1839-1892', from 1982 as 49a, p. 226. On page 229 Keyes wrote: "Yoshitoshi began his series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon in October 1885; the last plate was published in April 1892, two months before the artist's death. The prints were very popular, and editions were often sold out the morning they appeared. The publisher Akiyama Buemon, is said to have paid Yoshitoshi ten yen for each design. Because the prints were popular, Akiyama carefully preserved the blocks; when the set was finished, he reprinted subjects that had sold out and offered bound albums with a title page, a preface, a double-page decorative table of contents, a memorial portrait of the artist by his pupil Toshikage, and a complete set of one hundred prints."
Later Keyes wrote: "The Moon prints were landscapes of emotion. The prints were not literary; there was no text, no explanation; they were objects of reflection, thought, of contemplation. This was the truth of the heart, to speak without words, to convey the depths of feeling in eloquent silence. Color itself spoke, the choice of brush and line; like feelings themselves, without a word, without a mistake, without a doubt, the many meanings penetrated the mind. No one could fail to mistake them."
Akiyama Buemon (秋山武右衛門) (publisher)
Meiji era (明治時代: 1868-1912) (genre)