One Hundred Aspects of the Moon


Title Chiyono Chiyono 千代能
Series title One Hundred Aspects of the Moon つき百姿
Artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 (1839–1892)
Date 10/11/1889
Publisher Akiyama Buemon (Kokkeidō) 秋山武右衛門 (滑稽堂)
Woodcarver Noguchi Enkatsu 野口圓活
City Tokyo
Signature Yoshitoshi 芳年
Artist seal Taiso 大蘇
Publisher’s seal(s) kokkeidō こっけい堂
Blockcutter’s (and/or) printer’s) seal(s) Enkatsu tō 圓活刀

(in title cartouche)

千代能か いたゝく桶の 底ぬけて ミすたまれねハ 月もやとらす

Chiyono ga / itadaku oke no / soko nukete / mizu tamareneba / tsuki mo yadorazu

The bucket / that Chiyono had been given / lost its base– / now it cannot be filled with water / and so the moon cannot dwell inside

(in left margin)

明治廿二年十一月十日印刷 Meiji nijūni nen jūichi gatsu nichi insatsu Printed in Meiji year 22 month 11 day 10

仝 年仝月 日出版 dōjō nen dōjō gatsu [blank] nichi shuppan Published in same year same month [blank] day

日本バシ区室町三丁目九バンチ Nihonbashi-ku Muromachi-chō 3-chōme 9-banchi (Publisher’s address)

印刷兼発行者 秋山武右エ門 insatsu-ken-hakkōsha Akiyama Buemon printer-and-publisher Akiyama Buemon

Technique & material Woodblock print; full colour print; pigment on paper
Format ōban
Object number SH2018-DM-093
Credit Line Gift of Muck and Mieke Douma
Provenance Gifted to the Japan Museum SieboldHuis in April 2018 by Muck and Mieke Douma


The poem was composed by Adachi Chiyono (also known as the nun Mugai Nyodai, c. 1223–1298), who reached sudden enlightenment when her bucket broke: she realized that just like the moon in reflected in the water, her own outward appearance too is merely an illusion, and must look within for a true understanding of the self.