This site requires that you enable Javascript to function properly Scholten Japanese Art | Woodblock Prints | Tsukioka Yoshitoshi no. 49, Like reflections in the rice-paddies...
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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: no. 49, Like reflections in the rice-paddies...
(Tsuki hyakushi: Tsuki hyakushi: tagoto aru naka nimo tsuraki...)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, engraver's mark Enkatsu, and published by Akiyama Buemon, ca. 1887
oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.2 by 24.1 cm
The poem by Hitotose reads:
tagoto aru
naka nimo tsuraki
tsujigimi no
kao Sarashina ya
aki no tsukikage

Like reflections in the rice-paddies
the faces of streetwalkers in the darkness
are exposed by the autumn moonlight

The heavy white makeup of the woman is the key to understanding the poem's relation to the composition. The makeup, which was a hallmark of the tsujigimi or streetwalkers, reflects the moonlight in the poem. The beauty looks wistfully over her shoulder and bites her headscarf against the breeze. Stevenson notes her erotic yet handsome dress, which contrasts against the pale blue river in the background: "She wears high geta, on which she would have teetered forward in short, fast steps. Her under-sash has a pattern of chidori, sea plovers, while her opulent purple obi has a pattern of paulownia and chrysanthemums. A glimpse of her red undergarment would have been considered titillating."

John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 49
price: Sold