• The Eighth Month (<i>Hazuki</i> - 葉月) from the series <i>The Twelve Months</i> (<i>Jūnika tsuki no uchi</i> - 十二ヶつきのうち)
The Eighth Month (<i>Hazuki</i> - 葉月) from the series <i>The Twelve Months</i> (<i>Jūnika tsuki no uchi</i> - 十二ヶつきのうち)
The Eighth Month (<i>Hazuki</i> - 葉月) from the series <i>The Twelve Months</i> (<i>Jūnika tsuki no uchi</i> - 十二ヶつきのうち)

Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国) (artist 1786 – 01/12/1865)

The Eighth Month (Hazuki - 葉月) from the series The Twelve Months (Jūnika tsuki no uchi - 十二ヶつきのうち)

Print


1851
10 in x 14 in (Overall dimensions) color woodblock print
Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Minatoya Kohei (Marks 332 - seal 24-074)
Censor seals: Mera and Watanabe
Ukiyoe ni kiku
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
National Diet Library - a variant printing Hazuki refers to the 8th lunar month traditionally known as the "month of leaves" and even earlier as "Haochizuki," the "month of falling leaves."

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The lower part of the man's robes appear to be decorated with enlarged images of snowflakes. While the first photomicrograph of ice crystals didn't appear until January 15, 1885 in the United States by a 19 year old Wilson Alwyn Bentley that would not have prevented a Japanese artist or carver having observed empirically such a phenomenon. What the earlier observer would not have know is that no two snowflakes are exactly alike. That would explain why some of the patterns on the robe are repeated.

The man may be the new Genji, Matsuuji.

A variation on the sasarindō motif also appears in dark blue against a slightly lighter blue near these snowflake designs. They are very difficult to see and pick out, but they are there.
Minatoya Kohei (湊屋小兵衛) (publisher)
Genji related prints (Genji-e - 源氏絵) (genre)