Yoshitoshi woodblock print

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, (1839-1892)

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Ariko no Naishi

(Tsuki hyakushi: Ariko no Naishi)
signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, engraver's mark Yamamoto, and published by Akiyama Buemon, 1886

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

The poem in the cartouche reads:

nami no shita nimo
tsuki no miyako no
hito ya miru tote

How hopeless it is
it would be better for me to sink beneath the waves
perhaps then I could see my man from Moon Capital

This tragic figure is Ariko no Naishi, a lady in the Heian period court who was hopelessly in love with Tokudaiji no Sanesada, a senior councillor. According to the legend, the heartbroken Ariko drowned herself in Lake Biwa. The story of her unrequited love is told by her ghost in the No play Ariko no Naishi.

John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 38



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