Muraoka, Head Lady-in-waiting of the Konoe Clan
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Muraoka, Head Lady-in-waiting of the Konoe Clan, 1887
Ink on Paper
12 7/8 in. x 8 11/16 in. (32.7 cm x 22.07 cm)
"Yoshitoshi," Nov-Dec 1986, Montgomery Gallery.
Japanese text in red ink printed across the top edge; Japanese text printed in a box in the upper area of the image; seal in the lower left edge of the image.
Colored ink woodblock on paper.
Edo period color woodblock print with an image of a woman, bound, with hair in her mouth. Over the two-year period from 1887 to 1888, Yoshitoshi produced his last and most accomplished set of "newspaper prints" as supplements to the Yamato newspaper. Muraoka (1786-1873) was a supporter of the loyalist faction that disagreed with the shogunate's new open-door policy. She was arrested and severely tortured in 1858 during the Ansei Purge. Her unbroken loyalty won her considerable acclaim once the shogunate fell. However, Yoshitoshi's depiction of Muraoka borders on sadomasochistic fantasy: bound with ropes she looks seductive rather than distressed, and she looks far younger than the seventy-or-more years she would have been at the time.
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