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Title

The moon's four strings - Semimaru, from the series One hundred aspects of the moon

Aug 1891


Artist

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Japan

1839 - 1892


About

Semimaru was a blind poet and musician who served the son of Emperor Uda. He was both an historical character and the protagonist in a nō play, 'Semimaru'. When the prince died in 966 he moved to live in the mountains near Kyoto. Here, he is in a remote dilapidated house, playing a 'biwa' (Japanese lute), which has a design of a crescent moon on it. He is surrounded by wild grasses, and in the foreground are the autumn blossoms of beautiful flowers. Ironically, Semimaru cannot not see the beauty of the moon or his poverty stricken surroundings, and all he has left is the splendour of his music.


Details


Alternative title

tsuki no yotsu no o - Semimaru


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

Aug 1891


Media category

Print


Materials used

colour woodblock; ōban


Dimensions

39.0 x 26.0 cm


Signature & date

Signed and dated.


Credit

Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2012


Accession number

258.2012.98


Artist information

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Artist profile

Works in the collection

107


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Yuriko Iwakiri, Yoshitoshi Tsuki hyakushi (Yoshitoshi’s One hundred aspects of the moon), Tokyo, 2010. General reference; Another edition was reproduced

John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One hundred aspects of the moon, Seattle, 1992, (colour illus.). cat.no.98; Another edition was reproduced

Chris UHLENBECK, Yoshitoshi: masterpieces from the Ed Freis collection, Leiden, 2011, 135-136. General reference; Another edition was reproduced