A Popular Journey to the West

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 (1839-1892)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1864
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 37 x 25.8 cm (14 9/16 x 10 3/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Anne van Biema collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kabuki, king, monkey, mountain, oban, ukiyo-e, wave, wind, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Anne van Biema American, 1915 - 2004


In an episode from the Chinese narrative Journey to the West, the monkey king, Sun Wukong, is tossed more than ten thousand li (approximately one-half kilometer) by wind from the fan of the female immortal, Luocha (Japanese, Rasatsu). She has rejected the monkey king's appeal for her help in extinguishing the blaze on Fiery Mountain, because Sun Wukong has recently killed her son. Yoshitoshi's print series, A Popular Journey to the West (Tsvzoku Saiyvki), reflects the influence of his teacher, Kuniyoshi, whose "popular" series based on the Chinese narrative, The Water Margin (Chinese, Shuihu zhuan; Japanese, Suikoden), established Kuniyoshi's reputation for imaginative illustrations of Chinese stories. The dynamic quality of this composition is intensified by the sweeps of dark lines representing the force of the wind and the agitated peaks of the waves below.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, Milo Cleveland Beach, with contributions by The Honorable and Mrs. William Leonhart. Yokohama: Prints From 19th Century Japan. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 99.
  • Ann Yonemura with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 99, pp. 254-255.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum