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Japanese Prints

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (aka Yoshitoshi), Japanese, (1839–1892)
One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: No. 93, Buddhist monk receives cassia seeds, 1891
Ink on Paper
13 in. x 8 3/4 in. (330.2 mm x 222.25 mm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer
Accession Number: 93.3.61


Alternate Title: Tsuki hyakushi: Bonso tsukiyo ni keishi ouku

Commentary
A monk collecting cassia seeds:  According to Chinese legend, eight Cassia tress grow on the moon and are responsible for the perpetual renewal of its form.  Seeds falling from the moon are though to grant immortality and magical powers.  Yoshitoshi used brass filings to color the monk's scarf, but these have discolored.

Marks
On mat, in pencil: Marer 391. Artist's seal: Taiso. Description on verso of mat. Signed: Yoshitoshi. Carver: Yamamoto to.

Medium
Colored ink woodblock on paper; oban.

Object Description
Meiji period Japanese color woodblock print with an image of a Buddhist monk holding up a bowl to catch falling cassia seeds.

"In Chinese and Japanese legend, eight magical katsura, cassia trees, grow on the moon. Their leaves turn red in the autumn and give the harvest moon its color.

Here a Buddhist holy man holds out his begging-bowl to collect the seeds that fall from the cassia trees on the moon. With their quality of perpetual renewal, the trees naturally produce seeds that bestow immortality; they also give the eater the power to become invisible at will.

The figure here is an arhat, in Chinese "luohan", in Japanese "rakan," a Buddhist adept who has acheived enlightenment through magic and asceticsm as well as through meditation...Their individual attributes owe much to Hindu mythology - this arhat's regalia, his gold earring and bracelets and the rock on which he sits, suggest that he may be Kalika, who went to Bengal."

(John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, Seattle: San Francisco Graphic Society, 1992.)

Publisher
Akiyama Buemon.

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