May 9th, 2005

hasui: winter moon

Serendipity

Oh man, this is so cool. So you see, one of my favourite hanga artists is Yoshitoshi, who lived in late Meiji and was mad (which never hurts.) Back in the days when I was rich, more or less, and hanga were cheap, more or less, I bought a handful of his works. His most famous series is probably The Hundred Aspects of the Moon, which shows various historical people in various scenes with moonlight. Hanging here and there in the house I have the poet Tadanori, the biwa-playing exile Semimaru, and the demon-slaying Yorimasa. (Sorry about the colours of that last one. None of the online versions look like mine.)

Somewhere I have a booklet that lists the other 97 hanga in the series with marginal notes about these infinitely confusible characters. If they're not Heike they're the Ashikaga shogunate about which I know nothing- missed the Taiga drama, yes. Or Sengoku Jidai generals or Nara period ambassadors to China. So the names, shall we say, never registered. I forget what I was looking for online this evening when I discovered that no.20 in the series is none other than Minamoto no Hiromasa playing his flute at the Suzaku Gate.
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