One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: No. 72, Mount Miyaji moon - Moronaga
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One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: No. 72, Mount Miyaji moon - Moronaga, 1889
Ink on Paper
12 15/16 in. x 8 13/16 in. (328.61 mm x 223.84 mm)
On mat, in pencil: Marer 80. Artist's seal: Taiso. Signed: Yoshitoshi. Carver: Enkatsu to.
Colored ink woodblock on paper; oban.
Fujiwara no Moronaga (1137-1192) and his father were exiled from Kyoto for having supported Emperor Go-shirakawa in his political struggles with ex-Emperor Sutoku. While travelling through Shikoku, he visited Mt. Miyaji at the peak of Autumn Colors and was moved to play his lute in response to the natural beauty surrounding him. An anonymous lady passes by, charmed by his music,
"The draftsmanship is intentionally loose: the lines of the drawing seem to vibrate with the notes of the biwa. Moronaga's hair, hanging freely in recognition of his exile, is as ragged as the autumn leaves on the branches. The grasses and bushes are drawn scratchily, in a style found in the quick sketches that Yoshitoshi drew before his more careful preparatory drawings.
The title of the series in the pink cartouche is written in hentaigana, a system of calligraphy which substituted certain characters for kana syllables with the same sound. Twenty of the designs of the series use hentaigana in the pink cartouche.
The print conveys the idyllic peace of the mountains and the power of music."
(John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, Seattle: San Francisco Graphic Society, 1992.)
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