Arts and Designs of Japan
December Selection December 2018

Artist Yoshitoshi
Title Demons of illness and poverty stalking the Seven Gods of Good Fortuneed at age 69
Series Honen (Yoshitoshi) Songa – Picture of Loss in a Plentiful Year
Date 1884
Publisher Akiyama Buemon
Format Oban triptych (29 1/8" X 14 1/4")
Comment Embossed pattern on the bag, mica over the entire surface
Ebisu and Daikoku are hiding under a bag of rice. They look amused, but the demons seem frightening and ghostly. According to Roger Keyes' explanation in The Bizarre Imagery of Yoshitoshi, there are many puns at play in this design. The first two characters of the title can be read Yoshitoshi or "honen," a prosperous year. The artist was apparently doing well at this time even though there was an economic recession threatening many people.
Price $750.
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