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Online Prints Catalogue
  • Prints

Horin temple moon (Horinji no tsuki) — Yokobue


Item code : DUh087

Artist Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Subject Male & Female
Series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon
Publisher Akiyama Buemon
Format Oban (Vertical)
Size 23.9 x 35.0 cm
Date Meiji (1868 - 1912)


Yoshitoshi depicts a story of unrequited love—one that is repeated many times, from centuries before to the modern day. Here, he shows a distraught Yokobue, an empress’s attendant who fell in love with a guard at the palace. Due to his father’s disapproval of their marriage, the man becomes a monk at Horin temple; nevertheless, Yokobue treks through the mountains to visit him one autumn evening. When her lover sees that Yokobue is approaching, heartbroken, he tells a messenger to send her away, as he is afraid that communication would persuade him to leave the temple.
Yokobue weeps, her robes full, as she may be with child. She will soon decide to become a nun, a demoted position compared to her last. In a different version of the story in the sixteenth century Yokobue soshi, “Book of Yokobue,” her lover finds Yokobue drowned in the Oi River.

Although the two are ultimately separated, the pine trees in the background suggest the eternal bond between the young couple. A sweeping black cloud covers the bright full moon, adding to the downhearted mood and heart-rending situation.


Condition : Excellent       Impression : Excellent
Very good, left margin slightly trimmed.