Musashi Plain Moon from the series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi)

Maker(s)
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 (1839-1892)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, January 1891
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 37.6 x 25.1 cm (14 13/16 x 9 7/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.315
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Print

Keywords
Anne van Biema collection, fox, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), moon, oban, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Foxes have both benevolent and malevolent roles in Japanese legends and folklore. In this serene and haunting image, a fox turns in a strikingly anthropomorphic pose to gaze at her reflection by the light of the full moon. This image on the plain of Musashi, from Yoshitoshi's famous series, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsuki hyakushi), recalls a traditional Japanese belief that the wide plain near Edo was inhabited by foxes who gathered on New Year's Eve at a tree near the Oji Inari Shrine, where they served as messengers to its deity, the protector of rice cultivation. Farmers looked for the flames emitted by the foxes to judge the probability of good harvests in the coming year.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 133, pp. 320-321.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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