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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Moon of Pure Snow at Asano River

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Moon of Pure Snow at Asano River -Chikako, the Filial Daughter
(Tsuki hyakushi: Asanogawa seisetsu no tsuki - Kojo Chikako)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Yoshitoshi, carved by Enkatsu, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji juhachinen, junigatsu, -ka; Nihonbashi-ku Muromachi Sanchome 9-banchi, insatsu ken hakkosha Akiyama Buemon (Meiji 18 [1885], December) of Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido

oban tate-e 14 1/2 by 10 in., 36.8 by 25.3 cm

An ambitious and wealthy merchant, Zeniya Gohei (1798-1855), began in 1851 to fill in Kahoku Lake for the development of rice paddies. The following year, many dead fish appeared by the construction site, followed by reports of local residents who had died after eating the fish. The issue became a flashpoint, as aggrieved fishermen, envious rival merchants, and general local hysteria prompted the arrest of Gohei and sixty-six others involved in the project. In a futile gesture of filial piety, Gohei's daughter Chikako is said to have drowned herself in the freezing Asano River. It came to naught, however: her father would succumb to 'urinary blockage' and die incarcerated; her siblings were beheaded; and her family was stripped of all its wealth.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 460, no. 478.10
Segi 1985, p. 60, no. 26
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 133, no. 54.10
Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 30, no. 88
Shimoda 2001, pp. 513-531
Stevenson 2001, no. 10
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 21, no. 2.10

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