One Hundred Aspects of the Moon at Scholten Japanese Art." >
Yoshitoshi woodblock print

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, (1839-1892)
woodblock print

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Ishiyama Moon
(Tsuki hyakushi: Ishiyama no tsuki)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, engraver's mark Enkatsu, and published by Akiyama Buemon, 1889

oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.2 by 24.1 cm

The Genji Monogatari ('The Tale of Genji'), was written by a lady of the Fujiwara clan in the Heian period (794-1185) court, known as Murasaki Shikibu (ca. 973- ca. 1014 or 1025) or Lady Murasaki. Although Murasaki (lit. 'lavender') was not her real name, it is believed to be either a play on the family name Fujiwara (lit. 'field of Wisteria') or a reference to one of the most central female characters in the novel, Genji's beloved wife Murasaki.

While the details of her life are not entirely clear, it is understood that she wrote the Genji Monogatari to entertain her lady, Shoshi, who was a consort to the Emperor Ichijo. According to legend, Murasaki visited the Ishiyama temple at Lake Biwa and prayed for inspiration. This composition of a woman at a table overlooking a mountain landscape is a classic representation of the subject; the rich purple of her Heian-period robes confirm her identity as Lady Murasaki.

Reference:
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 71

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Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
May 13, 2019

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
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