Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon005 -Full-Moon-on-the-Tatami-Mats
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon005
Full-Moon-on-the-Tatami-Mats*

honderd aangezichten van de maan

Chris den Engelsman

full moon 
on the tatami mats
shadows of the pine branches
Takarai Kikaku (1661 – 1707)

neonlicht zet straten in vuur en vlam
weerkaatst in hipsters met veel kleurig haar
de gouden spiegel van de maan trekt
voorbij in een geur van wierook

op de natte asfaltjungle straten
in de wijk Yoshiwara passeert een regen-
boog van plastic zakken als ik opkijk
vallen de laatste vuurrode herfstbladeren

glanzende winkels en gelikte labels
weerspiegelen de komische verwarring
van consumentisme en cultuurverschillen

de nieuwe maan die door een
barst in de wand schijnt is niet meer
dan een toespeling op verlichting

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon002 -Change flees to the moon
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon002
Chang'e flees to the moon

Engelse bewerking - zeker geen vertaling - van dit gedicht:

one hundred views of the moon

Chris den Engelsman

full moon 
on the tatami mats
shadows of the pine branches
Takarai Kikaku (1661 – 1707)

 streets ablaze with neon lights and

popstar hipsters with multi-coloured hair

the golden mirror of the moon passes

overhead in a fragrance of incenses

 

on the wet asphalt jungle streets

in the Yoshiwara district a rainbow

of plastic bags passes by as I watch

the last flaming red autumn leaves fall

 

shiny shops and slick designer

labels reflect in comical confusion

the consumer and cultural differences

as a new moon appearing
through a crack in the cave’s wall

mere an allusion to enlightenment

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon024 -Moon of the pleasure quarters
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon024
Moon of the pleasure quarters

The Story Depicted in Print005 Full-Moon-on-the-Tatami-Mats

(Source: Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, John Stevenson, Hotei Publishing, Netherlands 2001)

 

Full moon
on the tatami mats
shadows of the pin branches – Kikaku

meigetsu ya
tatami no ue ni
matsu no kage
– Kikaku

A lady looks at the shadow of pine branches thrown by a bright moon onto the straw mats of her room.  That the setting is a teahouse is indicated by the furo, three-legged brazier to the left of the design, and by the rough wood pillar of the tokonoma, ceremonial alcove, to the right.  But it is an unusually opulent teahouse.  The screen to the left, painted in the brightly colored Rimpa style, is rather gaudy for a teahouse, and the area is large, with tatami mats extending into the foreground.  It is a teahouse of the pleasure quarters, either a house where assignations are arranged, or a teahouse in a large and luxurious brothel.

The lady is probably a courtesan, though neither her robes nor her hairstyle confirm this.  She wears two half-open undergarments, with her under-sash (not obi) untied and falling in front of her.  Her simple hairstyle – a courtesan on duty would have many more ornaments in her hair – might be explained if she had just come from a bath.  There are no suggestions that she is entertaining a customer (conventions might include smoking utensils left on the floor, or used tissues), and she is probably relaxing alone late at night.

There are more than a few hints that this design pays homage to Utamaro (1754-1806), the most celebrated designer of prints of the pleasure quarters.  The lady’s hairstyle is in the fashion of the 1790s, when the dominant ukiyo-e artist was Utamaro, not in the fashion of a hundred years earlier, when the poem in the title cartouche was written.  The screen is painted in the style of Utamaro’s contemporary, Sakai Hōitsu, who revived the decorative style of Ogata Kōrin at the end of the eighteenth century.  Lamplight is thrown through a bamboo screen, the printing techniques for which were perfected in Utamaro’s prints.  The lady holds an uchiwa, round fan (round like the moon?), which was a favorite motif of Utamaro’s.  The lady is very sensual, like a figure by Utamaro, who is best known for his prints of women of the Yoshiwara caught at informal moments in their daily lives.

The season here must be early autumn.  A furo was used for the tea ceremony only from May to October; during the colder months an open hearth was used.  The light screen on the right would be replaced by a solid sliding panel when the weather became chilly.  A rule of haiku is that the season should be indicated in the poem: the full moon, the meigetsu of the title, is associated with autumn, and this reverence is reinforced by the autumnal red maple leaves of the painted screen.  This season of the dying year adds nostalgia to the design.  The full moon floods the room with light, and this too adds poignancy: the lady is at the full bloom of beauty, which will fade almost as quickly as the moon wanes.

A scroll painting of pine branches, echoing the poem in the cartouche, hangs in the tokonoma.  The poem is by Tarakai Kikaku (1661-1707) who was one of the most important disciples of Bashō, the greatest master of haiku poetry; a design of Bashō ends the Moon Series.  Kikaku often frequented the Yoshiwara pleasure district in Edo and was a friend of the fabulously wealthy Kinokuniya Buzaemon, the only man ever rich enough to buy up every one of the Yoshiwara brothels for an evening’s entertainment – which he did twice.  During a party held at the Yoshiwara during a period of drought, Kikaku was asked to compose a poem so touching that heaven would be moved to send rain.  He complied, saying that there was a precedent in a poem written by the ninth-century poetess Ono no Komachi, and rain did indeed fall soon after he composed his poem.  These associations with the Yoshiwara also recall Utamaro, “artist of the Green Houses,” as the Yoshiwara brothels were colloquially known.

 

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon029 -The Yugao chapter from The Tale of Genji  Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon049 -streetwalker by moonlight 
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon029
The Yugao chapter from The Tale of Genji
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon049
Streetwalker by Moonlight
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon074 -Lady Chiyo and the broken water bucket Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon062 -Moon of Enlightenment
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon074
Lady Chiyo and the broken water bucket
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi One Hundred Aspects of the Moon062
Moon of Enlightenment

 

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