Yoshitoshi woodblock print

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, (1839-1892)
woodblock print

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Horin temple moon -Yokobue
(Tsuki hyakushi: Horinji no tsuki -Yokobue)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, published by Akiyama Buemon, 1890

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

This print illustrates the story of Yokobue from the 13th century Heike Monogatari ('Tale of the Heike'). Yokobue was an attendant to the Empress consort Kenreimonin (Taira no Tokuko) of Emperor Takakura (reigned 1168-1180). She fell in love with a guard at the Imperial palace, but his father disapproved of Yokobue and forbade them to marry. The guard, torn between his true love and filial obedience, left the capital and went to the Horin temple to become a monk. Yokobue traveled to the mountain temple to see him, but her lover, who had taken the devotional name Ajo, was afraid to see her and sent a messenger to the gate to inform her no one answering to his former name was at the temple. She left, heartbroken, and became a nun. In a later version of the legend, the 16th century Yokobue soshi ('Book of Yokobue'), she responds by flinging herself into the Oi River and Ajo finds her drowned. Her name Yokobue, also refers to a type of flute, an instrument frequently referenced in this series.

Reference:
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 89

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kikumon

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