The moon at high tide (Ideshio no tsuki)

The moon at high tide (Ideshio no tsuki)

In this scene from the Noh play Takasago, an old couple stands on the beach before they get into a boat and sail away. He is looking at the moon, and she is checking the tide. They are Jo and Uba, spirits of two ancient pine trees, and symbolize the happiness and fulfillment of a long, faithful marriage. In the play they would wear masks, but their cloths are in Noh style indeed. This design may have been shelved after January 1887 – the “printing date” – and published two months before Yoshitoshi’s death, when he was perhaps too ill to fulfill new commissions. (published April 1892)

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