Inaba Mountain Moon

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Inaba Mountain Moon
(Tsuki hyakushi: Inabayama no tsuki)

signed Yoshitoshi, with seal Yoshitoshi no in, carved by Yamamoto, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji juhachinen, juichigatsu, juken; Nihonbashi-ku Muromachi Sanchome 9-banchi, insatsu ken hakkosha Akiyama Buemon (Meiji 18 [1885], November 10) of Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido

oban tate-e 14 by 9 3/8 in., 35.7 by 23.9 cm

In 1564, the impregnable Gifu Castle, resting atop Inaba Mountain, was all that stood between daimyo Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) and complete domination over his rival Saito clan. To his good fortune, he had Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) amongst his host. Hideyoshi, who would come to be regarded as Japan's second great unifier, was a young lieutenant of humble origins who had learned of a secret route inside Gifu. Alongside six of his most trusted men, Hideyoshi scaled Inaba Mountain, stole inside the castle, and raised gourds high above the ramparts. Upon seeing the signal, the rest of Nobunaga's army stormed the castle and quickly achieved a decisive victory. His feat on Inaba Mountain elevated Hideyoshi's standing with Nobunaga and set him on his way to greatness.

In 1868, for the series Eight Views of Warriors' Fine Tales, Yoshitoshi depicted an episode from Hideyoshi's childhood in which the youth confronts a band of thieves on Yahagi Bridge.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 460, no. 478.7
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 132, no. 54.7
Stevenson 2001, no. 7
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 20, no. 2.7

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