46. Bon Festival Moon (Bon no tsuki)

Villagers dance in the moonlight during the annual Bon festival, when the spirits of the departed ancestors are supposed to return to earth to be fed and entertained. It is a happy festival, that is held every year during the full moon of July, and a typical dance consists of groups of people that move in circles on incidental music. The image reminds us somewhat of the dancers that Henri Matisse painted two decades later, and Stevenson* also points at the almost impressionistic effect of the Shoji style used by Yoshitoshi in this design. (published February 1887)