Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, Yukimori, Courageous Warriors

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1839-1892)
Title: Yamanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori Praying
Series: Yoshitoshi's Courageous Warriors
Publisher: Kobayashi Tetsujiro
Date: 1883
Dimensions: 24.3 x 36.1 cm
Condition: Pencil marking on the upper margin. Some creases. Minor tear on the left margin. Slightly trimmed. Small red pigment spot on the upper right cartouche.


Yamanaka Yukimori (1545-1578), a loyal samurai of the Warring States period ( c. 1467-1600) prays beneath a new moon. Defeated in an earlier battle, Yukimori swore that he would accept the 'seven troubles and eight pains' of Buddhist suffering in order to preserve the Amako clan in the hostile climate of the age. The warrior's affiliation with the moon was apparent since birth, being born under a harvest moon. His retainer holds his helmet fitted with deer antlers and a crescent moon ornament, his totem and amulet. The armour has been printed with a jet black lacquered effect whilst the whole scene glitters with mica powder, alluding to the moonlight reflecting in the river.


Yoshitoshi also felt this proximity to the celestial body, with his family name using the Chinese character for the moon. This connection culminated in his major series 'One Hundred Aspects of the Moon' among other of his works that used the subject. The artist surely recognised the similarities between Yukimori and himself, whom both had various points of their lives marked by the mysterious allure of the moon.





More Information
Artist Name Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Title Yamanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori Praying
Subject Samurai & Male, Landscapes
Dimensions 24.3 x 36.1 cm
Series Courageous Warrior