Artwork by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
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About the Artist
Born during the last decades of feudalism in Japan, Yoshitoshi became an apprentice of the great Ukiyo-e artist Kuniyoshi around the age of eleven, publishing his first full-color print at the age of fourteen. He was ranked the tenth most popular Ukiyo-e artist of the day by the age of twenty six when his focus was actors and warriors. With the fall of the feudal regime in 1868, evidence of the gore linked to fighting between the contending forces was found in his imagery.
One Hundred Aspects of the Moon was begun in 1885 and was completed just before the artist's death in 1892. It was wildly popular even as it was being produced. New designs were eagerly awaited, with editions selling out before dawn on the day of publication. Together the 100 images form a panorama of Japanese history and legend depicting the richness and subtlety of traditional Japanese culture.
This image represents a popular Kyogen drama--a type of filler mini-play that serves to space acts in the Noh plays. The fox figure is in process of transforming from human to fox.