Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, Sanno Festival, Shinto Rites, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1839-1892)
Title: Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites
Series title: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Date: 1886
Size: 24.5 x 35.7 cm
Condition: Crease on the right margin, light soiling.

'One Hundred Aspects of the Moon' is one of Yoshitoshi's most popular series. It contains one hundred woodblock prints depicting various, unrelated figures from Japanese and Chinese culture, with the moon as its unifying theme and exploring a range of tones and emotions for the subjects depicted. Yoshitoshi worked within a traditional art form, yet his drawings incorporated western techniques and were unlike any style that had come before him. The series was begun in 1885 and completed just before the artist's death in 1892.

Yoshitoshi based this design on an old Shinto festival that is still being held today. Sanno festival is celebrated with a colourful parade, ancient costumes and kimono, large banners and decorated carriages. Performers would dance at the top, as is the case in this print. The person whose face is hidden by the long sleeve of his attire has a trailing red wig and waves a 'gohei', a wand with Shinto paper symbols that helps with purification. The carriage is decorated with auspicious symbols and sacred musical instruments. The moon is printed with a metallic pigment that often oxidises, in keeping with the overall opulence of the design and suggesting early morning.

More Information
Print Format Oban (Vertical)
Artist Name Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Title Dawn Moon of the Shinto Rites
Subject Spirits & Religion
Dimensions 24.5 x 35.7 cm
Condition Report Crease on the right margin, light soiling.
Series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon