Collections: Asian Art: Songoku, the Monkey King and the Jeweled Hare by the Moon

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On View: Recumbent Lion

Although lions were rare in pharaonic times, having been driven south by climate change, they remained important in Egyptian culture. An ima...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Recumbent Lion

    Although lions were rare in pharaonic times, having been driven south by climate change, they remained important in Egyptian culture. An ima...


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    Songoku, the Monkey King and the Jeweled Hare by the Moon

    One Hundred Aspects of the Moon was one of Yoshitoshi’s most successful series, printed over a period of seven years with new designs released every few months to an eager public. The subjects drew on Chinese and Japanese folklore, history, and literature and often included elements of the supernatural, an obsession of Yoshitoshi’s later in life. This print refers to a Chinese story of an immortal monkey king, shown dancing with a jeweled hare that, according to legend, lives on the moon.

    • Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
    • Medium: Woodblock color print
    • Dates: October 10, 1891
    • Period: Meiji Period
    • Dimensions: 13 7/8 x 9 1/2 in. (35.2 x 24.1 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 2007.31.4
    • Credit Line: Bequest of Dr. Eleanor Z. Wallace
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). Songoku, the Monkey King and the Jeweled Hare by the Moon, October 10, 1891. Woodblock color print, 13 7/8 x 9 1/2 in. (35.2 x 24.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Dr. Eleanor Z. Wallace, 2007.31.4
    • Image: overall, 2007.31.4_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
    • Record Completeness: Good (63%)
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    Recent Comments
    00:14 09/18/2010
    Songoku in Chinese is Sun Wukong. He is a hero of the late 16th century Chinese novel Xiyouji (Journey to the West).
    By Doug White
    03:55 06/14/2011

    Ah, Hare in the moon
    I’ll play the while today with you
    not for
    the Elixir of Immortality
    that I hear you grind
    everyday with your mortar and pestle -
    for I myself am Immortal
    and have no need of an Elixir
    But for I hear you offered yourself
    as food to one who was hungry –
    ah, for such magnificence of character
    I’ll play today in this open space with you
    for such admiration I always have for you


    Ah, Sun Wukong
    you are always so full of spirit and life
    and with such boundless energy
    you need no Elixir;
    and your very restlessness
    is itself endearing –
    so come everyday,
    come and play in this open space
    all hours night and day
    as you wish
    for it is always a pleasure
    to see the very power and spark of life
    leap and jump
    as you do, in circus turns
    and Opera somersaults

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