One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: no. 1, By now you must be near Komakata, a cuckoo calls -Takao
(Tsuki hyakushi: kimi wa ima, Komakata atari, hototogisu - Takao)
signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Yoshitoshi, engraver's mark Yamamoto, and published by Akiyama Buemon, ca. 1885
oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.2 by 24.1 cm
Takao was a famous courtesan of the Genroku Period (1688-1704). Her hairstyle and dark-colored robe, with its leaf and calligraphic motifs, are typical of the period, but importantly courtesans at the time were courted as much for their literary and musical talents as for their beauty. Yoshitoshi depicts Takao in early morning, soon after her lover has left. The staccato call of a hototogisu - a variety of cuckoo - reminds her of Komakata, an area on the Sumida River a short distance south of her Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. In this moment, she composes what will be a famous poem while thinking of her lover landing in Komakata along his journey home.
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 1
price: $ 600
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