Yoshitoshi woodblock print

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, (1839-1892)

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Lunacy - Unrolling Letters
(Tsuki hyakushi: tsuki no monogurui - fumihiroge)

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

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

This print depicts the tragic figure, Ochiyo, a servant of Ono no Otsu, a lady in the household of the important Momoyama period daimyo, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598). Lady Ono no Otsu was famous for writing a no play based on the life of young Yoshitsune. Her servant, Ochiyo, was famous for her broken heart: she went mad with sorrow when she received a letter informing her that her love had died. She wandered about Kyoto aimlessly, rolling and unrolling his love letters. Yoshitoshi depicts the grief-stricken girl, her duress indicated by her unkempt hair and bare feet, standing at the landmark Gojo Bridge holding a tattered love letter blowing away in the wind.

During the hot and humid weather of the seventh month of the year, also known as the fumihirogezuki (lit. 'letter-spreading month'), letters and scrolls were unrolled and aired out.

Reference:
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 77

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