Beautiful polychrome woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format made in 1879 by the artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年). The work, taken from the series “Mirror of Famous Generals of Great Japan” (大日本名将鑑), depicts the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (足利義満) in the gardens of his villa Kitayamadono (北山殿), known today as Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺), that is the “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”.
During the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代), this place was the site of a villa of the aristocrat Saionji Kintsune (西園寺公経). During the Muromachi period (室町時代), however, it caught the attention of Yoshimitsu, who took over the site from the Saionji family in order to build his own villa. The Kinkaku-ji complex, whose gardens and architecture are focused around a central golden pavilion, is said to evoke paradise on earth. After Yoshimitsu’s death, the villa was turned into a temple according to his will.
The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the publisher Funatsu Chujiro (船津忠次郎), despite the right signs of aging including a slight horizontal fold mark, is in good condition.