Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) was the last great woodblock print master of the Ukiyo-e tradition. With his distinctive style of dramatic lines and use of gorgeous colours, Yoshitoshi was soon recognised by his contemporaries as the most outstanding woodblock artist of his time. One Hundred Aspects of the Moon is regarded as his greatest achievement. The series brings to life the history and mythology of ancient Japan. In all 100 prints the moon figures prominently, either clearly visible in the design itself, or else referred to in the beautiful poem in the text cartouche.
The subjects of the prints range from historical figures such as the novelist and court lady Murasaki Shikibu from the Heian period (794-1185) and samurai warlords like Takeda Shingen (1521-1573) to mythological creatures and scenes related to the Japanese theatre forms kabuki, no and kyogen. The series not only strongly refers to Japanese literature and culture, it also includes many references to the literary traditions of China, which were of major influence on the cultural developments of classical Japan.