Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki, Part I

(Taiheiki eiyű den, 太平記英勇傳)

Publisher: Yamamoto-ya Heikichi

c. 1848-1849

 

The Taiheiki was written in the late fourteenth century and recounts a series of wars between the Northern Court of Ashikaga Takauji in Kyoto, and the Southern Court of Emperor Go-Daigo in Yoshino.á However, this series of prints portrays characters from the civil wars of the sixteenth century, with the participantĺs names altered.á Most of the prints bear numbers within circles.á They are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban.á Complete translations of the texts on the prints may be found in Heroes of the Grand Pacification: Kuniyoshiĺs Taiheiki eiyū den by Elena Varshavskaya (2006, Hotei Publishing, Amsterdam, 2006).á

 

Robinson: S62.1

Number: 43

Description: Kozaemon Hisamitsu (合郷基左エ門久盈) mounted and armored, but bareheaded, on his galloping steed

Historical character: Haig˘ Gozaemon Hisamitsu

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.2

Number: 34

Description: Akashi Ridayű Hidemoto, with a straw raincoat over his armor, and armed with a hoe

Historical character: Akashi Gidayű Tadamasu

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.3

Number: 19

Description: Amanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori, fully armored and carrying a jűmonji spear

Historical character: Yamanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori

 

NOTE: The illustrated example is from an unnumbered edition

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.4

Number: 27

Description: Aragi Settsu no Kami Murashige (荒儀攝津守村重), in full court dress, eating mochi (rice buns) from the point of the sword of the unseen Nobunaga

Historical character: Araki Setsu-no kami Murashige

 

 

 

Another state of the above design

 

Robinson: S62.5

Number: 7 ()

Description: Asai Bizen no Kami Naka masa armored and seated on a tiger-skin stool, inspecting a severed head

Historical character: Asai Nagamasa

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.6

Number: 8 ()

Description: Asakura Saemon-no-tayű Yoshikane standing, armored except for sode (sleeve) and helmet, cutting off the end of his waistband

Historical character: Asakura Saemonnokami Yoshikage

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.7

Number: 3 ()

Description: Chibata Shuri-no-shin Tatsuie grasping his spear, with which he has just broken the water-jars to induce his men to make a sally while besieged in the castle of Ch˘k˘ji

Historical character: Shibata Shurinosuke Katsuie

 

NOTE: The illustrated example is from an unnumbered edition

 

 

Painting after the above print

 

 

Robinson: S62.8

Number: 22

Description: Fujiwara no Masakiyo in full armor seated on a camp-stool on the shore in Korea, with two Koreans at his feet

Historical character: Kat˘ Kiyomasa

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.9

Number: 15

Description: Fukishima Masamori in armor, struggling with three assailants

Historical character: Fukushima Masanori

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.10

Number: This design exists with the number 31 and also with the number 33

Description: Hamaji Sh˘gen Mitsukuni, armored but without helmet, cutting a blossoming branch with his sword

Historical character: Yamaji Sh˘gen Masakuni

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.11

Number: 35

Description: Hayashi Tanshir˘ Taketoshi, armored but without helmet, in his last battle at Uchide-no-hama in 1582

Historical character: Hayashi Hanshir˘ Taketoshi

 

 

Another state of the above design

 

 

Robinson: S62.12

Number: 44

Description: Hida Magobei Masatoshi, in armor but without helmet, in battle against the Chinese in Korea

Historical character: Kida Magobee Muneharu

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.13

Number: 17

Description: Hori Ran Maru Nagayasu (保理蘭丸永保), in court robes, having just knocked off the court cap of Takachi Michihide with his fan

Historical character: Mori Ranmaru Nagasada

 

 

 

Another state of the above design

 

Robinson: S62.14

Number: 45

Description: Horimoto Gigayű Takatoshi standing in full armor holding his spear

Historical character: Morimoto Gidayű Hidetora

 

Robinson: S62.15

Number: 2 ()

Description: Inagawa Jibu-no-tayű Minamoto no Yoshimoto in full armor, seated on a camp stool by a fence

Historical character: Imagawa Yoshimoto

 

 

 

Another state of the above design from an unnumbered edition

 

Robinson: S62.16

Number: 47

Description: Ina-ue Daikur˘ Masatada in armor without a helmet, firing a small cannon

Historical character: Inoue Daikur˘ Nagayoshi

 

 

 

 

Another state of the above design in which the skull on the sashimono is grey

 

Robinson: S62.17

Number: This design exists with the number 27 and also with the number 37

Description: Ishikawa S˘suke Sadatomo at the Battle of Shizu-ga-mine in 1583

Historical character: Ishikawa Hy˘suke Kazumitsu

 

 

 

Robinson: S62.18

Number: 10 ()

Description: Isono Tamba no Kami Sadamasa seated on a camp stool holding a spear

Historical character: Isono Tanba-no kami Kazumasa

 

 

 

Another state of the above design

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

 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO PART II