Kobayashi Kiyochika Moon Seen Beyond at Shinagawa

Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1847-1915

One Hundred Views of Musashi: Moon Seen Beyond at Shinagawa
(Musashi hyakkei no uchi: Musashi hyakkei no uchi)

embellished with mica in the dark areas, signed Shinseiro Kiyochika with artist's seal Shinsei, dated on left margin, on todoke Meiji jushichinen, - gatsu - ka (registered Meiji 17 [1884] - month - day), followed by artist's information, Gako Kobayashi Kiyochika gensuke chou hachi banchi (designer Kobayashi Kiyochika, 18th district), and publisher, Shuppan nin Kobayashi Tetsujiro tori san choume jusan banchi (publisher Kobayashi Tetsujiro, 13th district) with two more seals, and carver's rectangular cartouche below, Hori Gin, 1884

oban tate-e 14 1/8 by 9 5/8 in., 36 by 24.6 cm

In 1884, Kiyochika began a new vertical landscape series, inspired by the iconic One Hundred Views of Edo by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) which he titled One Hundred Views of Musashi, in reference to the Musashi Plain, once located to the north of Edo, now swallowed up as part of the northern reaches of Tokyo. The Musashi Plain holds particular poetic significance with an ancient association to lonely nocturnes and autumnal motifs.

Kiyochika's series revisits the concept of meisho (famous views) as shown by Hiroshige in his series, as well as new scenery of Meiji Japan. With each location he plays with the theme, cleverly alluding to Hiroshige's designs while presenting an alternate or updated perspective. The print Moon Seen Beyond Shinagawa, 1884, recalls Hiroshige's Moon-Viewing Point, 1857, which illustrates a view of the moon rising over Shinagawa as seen across an empty room littered with the detritus of a party. Kiyochika's version repositions our vantage to the far side of a room near the balustrade overlooking the water beside a hanging mosquito net which juts into the composition like the prow of a boat. A lantern at left decorated with kikyo (bell flowers) and autumnal grasses and an echoing moon is an unmistakable reference to images of the moon rising over the Musashi Plain.

Henry D. Smith II, Kiyo-Chika: Artist of Meiji Japan, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1988, p.72, no. 81
Hideki Kikkawa, Kobayashi Kiyochika: Studies in Light and Shadow of the Westernization of Japan, 2015, p. 117, no. 159
Kobayashi Kiyochika: A Retrospective, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2016, p. 171, no. 282
(inv. no. 10-4874)


Hiroshige, Moon Viewing, 1857


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