Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
A Woman Saving the Nation: A Chronicle of Great Peace, 1886
Comments - Incredible Yoshitoshi triptych depicting the Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi dozing as he leans against a lacquer armrest, his chin resting against his hand. He dreams of a beautiful young woman, who appears in a cloud of smoke at right, resting her head on her arms as she sleeps beneath a heavy robe. At left, Tsunayoshi's wife grips a dagger as she prepares to kill her husband. He had decided to adopt a youth with whom he was infatuated and make him his heir. Believing that his actions would not be well received and might result in a civil war, she tried to dissuade him but to no avail. Finally, she decided that she must kill him for the good of the nation, and then sacrifice herself. After murdering him, she committed suicide. She grasps the knife upright, her head bowed with an expression of sadness and regret as she kneels beside a softly shining lamp. A large black lacquer chest behind the shogun holds scrolls, books, and writing tools, while at lower right, embers glow in a brazier on the floor. The beauty is wonderfully detailed, with delicate line work in the hair and eyelashes, and an embossed pattern on the white kimono collar and pink obi. The clouds of smoke around her was printed with a metallic pigment, which has oxidized to a darker tone. A fantastic, complex design, beautifully drawn, with a burnished pattern in the black cushion beneath the shogun and additional embossing on the wife's white under robe.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Horizontal centerfold. A few losses and holes, repaired. Slight toning, slight soiling at edges. Please see photos for details.