Abridged Stories of Our Countryĺs Swordsmanship

(Honch˘ kendo ryaku den, 本朝剣道略傳)

Publisher: Kazusa-ya Iwaz˘



The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban.á


Title: Araki Mataemon (荒木 又右衛門)

Scene: Araki Matayemon standing and examining his sword

Robinson: S37.1



Title: Banzui Ch˘bei (幡随長兵衛)

Scene: Banzui Ch˘bei holding up a lantern with his other hand on the hilt of his sword

Robinson: S37.2


Title: Fuwa Bansaku (不破伴作)

Scene: Fuwa Bansaku having just struck off the head of a stone-lion with his bare fist

Robinson: S37.3


Title: Inuta Kobungo (犬田小文吾)

Scene: Inuda Kobungo examining a sword and holding a shirazaya (storage scabbard)

Robinson: S37.4

Scene: Inuzuka Shino Moritaka wielding his sword, his foot on a retainer of Genpachi and Inukai Genpachi Nobumichi himself armed with an iron truncheon during the fight on the H˘ryűkaku roof

Title: Inuzuka Shino Moritaka (犬塚信乃戍孝)

Robinson: S37.5

Title: Inukai Genpachi Nobumichi (犬飼現八信道)

Robinson: S37.6

Scene: Inukawa S˘suke Yoshit˘ (left) and Inuyama D˘setsu Tadatomo (right) with a kettle hanging over a smoky wood fire

Title: Inukawa S˘suke Yoshit˘ (犬川荘助義任)

Robinson: S37.7

Title: Inuyama D˘setsu Tadatomo (犬山道節忠和)

Robinson: S37.9

Scene: Inumura Kakutar˘ seated on a rock reading a scroll with pine twigs wrapped in paper in his mouth and Inue Shimby˘e watching falling banana leaves with his hand on the hilt of his sword and a kimono patterned with toy dogs

Title: Inue Shinbei (犬江親兵衛)

Robinson: S37.10

Title: Inumura Kakutar˘ (犬村角太郎)

Robinson: S37.8


Title: Inuzaka Keno Tanetomo (犬塚毛野胤智)

Scene: Inudzuka (incorrectly for Inuzaka) Keno Tanetomo standing with two swords and a large straw hat behind him

Robinson: S37.11




Scene: Keyamura no Rokusuke stripped to his waist and drying his back is addressed by a young kappa.á A bundle of rushes and a carrying-pole are behind them.

Robinson: S37.12


NOTE: Kappa are supernatural creatures that live both on land and in water and are as tall as a four or five year old child.á They have a beak-like snout, and fins on their hands and feet.á They also have a shell on their back, and a water-filled dish on their head that is responsible for their supernatural power.


Title: Matsui Tomijiro Shigenaka (松伊富次郎茂仲)

Scene: Matsui Tomijir˘ Shigenaka looks down at three wriggling snakes with a basket and a bundle wrapped in cloth behind him

Robinson: S37.13



Scene: Minamoto no Ushiwaka Maru knocking over a tengu during a fencing bout with wooden swords

Robinson: S37.14


NOTE: Tengu are forest-dwelling creatures that are either human-like with wings and long noses or bird-like.



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Scene: Minamoto no Yoshinaka

Robinson: S37.15



Scene: Miyamoto Musashi dressed for traveling on his way to see Bukoden

Robinson: S37.16



Scene: Nagoya Sanzabur˘ Motoharu with sword in hand holds up the severed head of a young woman with a paper scroll in her mouth

Robinson: S37.17


Title: Sasaki Ganryu (佐々木岸柳)

Scene: Sasaki Ganryű standing in profile with a clenched fist

Robinson: S37.18


This is another version of the above print.á It is a less labor-intensive printing than the above, which almost invariably means a later edition.á In this print, the delicate shading (bokashi) from black to brown in the clothing was omitted.á Bokashi was achieved by hand applying a gradation of ink to the wooden printing block rather than inking the block uniformly.á This hand-application had to be repeated for each sheet of paper that was printed.


Title: Shirai Gonpachi (白井権八)

Scene: Shirai Gompachi with a drawn sword and a dog looking up at him

Robinson: S37.19


Title: Ichimisai musume Sonojo (一味歳娘その女)

Scene: Sono-jo, daughter of Yoshioka Ichimisai, in nun's robes applying an arm hold to an attacking ruffian

Robinson: S37.20



Scene: Takagi Oriyemon seated on a large rock with rope attached having just written an account of his defeat of a robber gang on the wall

Robinson: S37.21


Title: Yoshioka Kanefusa (吉岡兼房)

Scene: Yoshioka Kanefusa defending himself from attacking policemen

Robinson: S37.22

ôRobinsonö refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.