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Yoshitoshi
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: no. 64, Mount Mikasa
(Tsuki hyakushi: Mount Mikasa)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, engraver's mark Yamamoto, and published by Akiyama Buemon, ca. 1888
oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.2 by 24.1 cm
The poem is by Abe no Nakamaro (701-770), a poet included in the 13th century anthology, Hyakunin isshu (One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets) compiled by Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241).
Ama no hara
furisake mireba
Kasuga naru
Mikasa no yama ni
ideshi tsuki kamo

As I look out into the vast expanse
can this be the same moon
that I saw rise in Kasuga behind Mount Mikasa?

The poem is often associated with an expatriate's homesickness, an experience Nakamaro knew firsthand. He is pictured here in black, looking wistfully at the fog. At age 16, he was sent to study mathematics in China and would never return to Japan. He once attempted to leave, but his ship was blown off course and made landfall in Vietnam. Nakamaro's isolation is marked by the pillar, which separates him from his compatriot. That detail is similarly used by Hokusai in his illustration of the story in his 1835 print from the series, The Hundred Poems as Told by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki). Nakamaro's tale was popularized not only by the famous poem but by the Kabuki play Kin'u gyokuto wakoku no irifune (The Golden Crow, the Jade Rabbit, and the Ship that Arrives from Japan).
Reference:
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 64
price: $ 400