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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Jade Rabbit and Sun Wukong

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: Jade Rabbit and Sun Wukong
(Tsuki hyakushi: Gyokuto; Songoku)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, carved by Enkatsu, publisher's date and address seal Meiji nijuninen, jugatsu, juka; Nihonbashi-ku Muromachi Sanchome 9-banchi, insatsu ken hakkosha Akiyama Buemon (Meiji 22 [1889], October 10) of Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido

oban tate-e 14 3/8 by 9 1/2 in., 36.4 by 24 cm

This print depicts Sun Wukong (Jp. Songoku), the immortal monkey of the Chinese novel Journey to the West (Xiyouji). He wears robes lined with gold and wields a magic, gold-tipped staff that he used to beat the Milky Way flat and fend off demons on his journey to India. Sun Wukong is accompanied by The Jade Rabbit, also known as the moon rabbit, and thought to be visible in the markings on the moon. In Xiyouji, the Jade Rabbit lives in India and meets Sun Wukong and his companions on their journey. She hatches a plot to steal their powers, but is foiled when Sun Wukong sees through her disguise. Before he can make her pay for her wily ways, she is rescued by Chang'e, the goddess of the moon, and brought back to her lunar home.

One of Yoshitoshi's earliest series, the 1864-1865 A Modern Journey to the West (Tsuzoku saiyuki), illustrated Sun Wukong's adventures.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 466, no. 478.73
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 135, no. 54.73
Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 31, no. 98
Stevenson 2001, no. 73
Fair (ed.) 2005
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 37, no. 2.73
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2012, p. 154, no. 233
Iwakiri 2014, p. 152, no. 230

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