Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
Autumn Moon of the Toin, 1868
Comments - Handsome illustration of the famous tale about the Heian-era nobleman, Fujiwara no Yasumasa, playing his flute on the lonely moor of Ichihara while walking home one night. His brother, Hakamadare Yasusuke (Kidomaru) snuck up on him, intent on robbing him of his elegant robe, but enchanted by Yasumasa's beautiful music, he stopped in his tracks. Kidomaru instead followed his brother home, who only then became aware of his presence and happily gave him a robe.
Yoshitoshi shows Yasumasa absorbed in his playing, the wind fluttering his robe about him, completely oblivious to his surroundings. Kidomaru sneaks up behind him in a crouching position with his sword drawn, ready to attack, biting his lower lip in determination. A narrow stream meanders across the moor, framed by autumn grasses and blossoms, a full moon glowing in the gray evening sky, creating a lovely setting for the figures.
This triptych is a second, later state of the 1868 design that uses a different color scheme and partially new blocks. The full moon is lower in the sky in this 1894 printing, and the names of the publisher and block cutter have been removed from the center panel. A new publisher's seal with the date of Meiji 27 (1894) has been added to the left panel. Both versions are illustrated on page 88 of the recent book "Yoshitoshi: Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection," by Chris Uhlenbeck and Amy Riegle Newland, et al. This subject is important as an earlier version of the famous Fujiwara no Yasumasa triptych that Yoshitoshi designed in 1883. The first time we've come across this rare Yoshitoshi subject. A great choice for a collector.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13 5/8" x 27 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few small holes, expertly repaired. Slight rippling. Please see photos for details.