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An image of The twilight beauty (Chapter 4) by Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI


(Japan 1839 – 1892)

The twilight beauty (Chapter 4)
Other titles:
Chapter Yûgao of the Tale of Genji
Alternative title:
Tsuki hyaku sugata: Genji Yûgao no maki
Place of origin
Meiji period 1868 - 1912 → Japan
Media category
Materials used
colour woodcut

32.9 x 22.3 cm image; 35.3 x 24.2 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed l.r., in Japanese, ink [incised on block] "Yoshitoshi". Signed l.r., in Japanese, ink [stamped] "Taiso [artist's seal]". Not dated.
Purchased 1994
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The series ‘One hundred aspects of the moon’ is based on views of literature and legend. Departing from the traditional iconography of this chapter in the ‘Tale of Genji’, wherein a page girl emerges from an overgrown garden with a fan, this innovative print instead presents Yûgao in dramatic profile, a spectre-like apparition wandering restlessly through her garden, her ethereal body entwined with the moonflower from which her identity is derived. Alluding to her mysterious end, this image created a new niche for her within Japan’s rich tradition of ghost stories.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW.

Bibliography (4)

Gary Hickey, Genji - the world of the Shining Prince, 'Genji in the 'Floating World', pgs. 30-41., Sydney, 2008, 38 (colour illus.), 39 (colour illus.). fig.20. The colour illus. on page 38 is a detail of this work.

Nicholas Jose, The Bulletin, 'At the Imperial Court: Shades of desire', pg. 95-96, Sydney, 21 Dec 1999-04 Jan 2000, 95-96, 96 (colour illus.).

SEGI Shin'ichi, Yoshitoshi: The Splendid Decadent, Tokyo, 1985, 61 (colour illus.). 30

Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap and John Stevenson, Beauty & Violence: Japanese Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892, Netherlands, 1992, 74 (colour illus.). cat. no.54.28

Exhibition history (2)

Beauty and Desire in Edo period Japan, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes, 06 Jun 1998–09 Aug 1998

Genji - the world of the Shining Prince, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Dec 2008–15 Feb 2009