One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: no. 95, the moon's invention, Hozo temple
(Tsuki hyakushi: tsuki no hatsumei- Hozoin)
signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Kai, engraver's mark Yoshihisa, and published by Akiyama Buemon, ca. 1891
oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.2 by 24.1 cm
This composition depicts Kakuzenbo Hoin In'ei (1539-1607), head priest of the Hozoin temple in Nara. In'ei developed a new method of spear fighting and started a famous fencing school in the temple. Hozoin's fencing tradition was continued by at least four of his descendants into the 19th century.
In the print, the muscular priest grasps a practice spear with a rounded top. His tucked up robes suggest he is prepared either for fencing practice or fighting- tucked up robes in Kabuki productions forewarned the audience of a violent act. Later in life, he found that serving Buddha and practicing martial arts were incongruous with one another and gave up all his weapons to his student Nakamura Ichibei Naomasa.
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 95
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February 28, 2021
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