Documented Characters from the Chronicle of the

Ups and Downs of the Minamoto and Taira Clans

(Seisuiki jimpin sen, 盛衰記人品箋)

Publisher: Eshima

1840

 

The Taira and Minamoto clans fought for control of ancient Japan until the Taira Clan was vanquished at the naval Battle of Dan-no-ura (壇ノ浦の戦い), and Minamoto Yoritomo ( 頼朝) assumed power as shogun in 1192.  This series of prints illustrates incidences from this turbulent period in Japanese history that included the Hōgen rebellion (保元の乱), the Heiji rebellion (平治の乱) and finally the Genpei Wars ((源平合戦).  The prints are each about 10 by 7 inches (25 by 18 centimeters), a size known as chūban.  I am grateful to Robert Pryor for contributing to this section.

 

 

Scene: Three Taira “pages” (Heike no kaburo, 平家の禿童) who were actually youths employed to report any signs of dissidence

Robinson: S15.1

 

 

 

Another state with blue replacing purple

 

Scene: Hotoke-gozen (仏御前) dressed as a nun and holding prayer beads after her retirement

Robinson: S15.2

 

Scene: The poetess Matsuyoi no Jijū (待宵侍従), who is also known as Kojijū, seated on a wooden balcony in court dress

Robinson: S15.3

 

Scene: Katōji Kagekado (加藤次景廉) standing under a pine tree by a stone lantern in full armor holding a naginata

Robinson: S15.4

 

Another state without clouds in the text cartouche

 

Scene: Aki no Kami Taira Kiyomori (安芸守平清盛) in hunting dress on Rendai Moor encounters an apparition of the fix-goddess Koki-tennō who foretells his future greatness

Robinson: S15.5

 

Another state of the above design

 

Yet another state of the above design

 

 

Scene: Mongaku Shōnin (文覚上人) beating a cowering noblemen with the book in which he records charitable donations

Robinson: S15.6

 

Another state without purple

 

Scene: Chohyo e no jo Nobutsura (長兵衛倀連) advancing over several prostrate foe at the fall of the Takakura palace

Robinson: S15.7

 

Another state without clouds in the text cartouche

 

Scene: Komatsu Daifu Shigemori-kyō (小松内府重盛卿) standing in black court robes while an attendant tries to catch a snake wriggling out of his sleeve

Robinson: S15.8

 

Scene: Hosshōji-shungyō Shunkwan (法勝寺執行俊寛) abandoned on the seashore with his boy-servant Ariō Maru

Robinson: S15.9

 

Scene: Taira no Tadamori Ason (平忠盛朝臣) examining a sword by lamplight and thereby foiling a plot by jealous noblemen to assassinate him

Robinson: S15.10

   

 

 

Scene: Sasaki Shirō Takatsuna (佐々木四郎高綱) commandeering a farmer’s horse in order to go into battle

Robinson: S15.11

 

NOTE: The gourd shaped seal on the bottom is that of the woodblock carver Hori Shin (ホリシン).

 

Scene: Gen Sammi Yorimasa (源三位頼政) picking up gold coins watched by Kinyoshi-kyō in black court robes

Robinson: S15.12

 

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

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