Military Brilliance for the Eight Views

(Ybu hakkei, 燿武八景)

Publisher: Ensh-ya Hikobei

1852

In eleventh century China, eight views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers developed as a formalized series of landscape paintings. They represented views of the rivers and wetlands around Lake Dongting. The same eight viewsautumn moon, lingering snow, evening glow, vesper bells, returning boats, clearing weather, night rain and homing geeseare likened to Japanese heroes in this series of prints. The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ban.

 

View: Autumn Moon at Goj Bridge (Gojo Akitsuki, 五条秋月)

Scene: Ushiwaka Maru playing his flute

Robinson: S76.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View: Lingering Snow at Ishiyama (Ishiyama bosetsu, 石山暮雪)

Scene: Suzuki Shigeyuki with his pistol

Robinson: S76.2

 

Image courtesy of Pierre Wijermans

 

This is another state of the above print with the cartouche printed in red. Since this is a less labor-intensive printing, it is almost certainly a later edition.

 

 

This is yet another state of the above image. The blue sky has been replaced with a black sky turning the print into a nocturnal scene.

 

View: Evening Glow at Awazu (Awazu yusho, 粟津夕照)

Scene: Tomoe-gozen (巴御前) after the battle of Awazugahara

Robinson: S76.3

 

 

 

View: Vesper Bell at Tdaiji Temple (Tdaiji bansho, 東大寺晩鐘)

Scene: Akushichibye Kagekiyo in monks habit ready to resist arrest

Robinson: S76.4

 

 

 

 

View: Returning Boats at the Ryky Islands (Ryukyu kihan, 琉球帰帆)

Scene: Minamoto no Tametomo onboard ship with Kiheiji swimming in the background

Robinson: S76.5

 

 

 

 

Another state of the above design with a green cartouche in the right upper corner. I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this image.

 

View: Clearing weather at Horikawa (Horikawa seiran, 堀川晴嵐)

Scene: Eda Genz defending Horikawa Palace

Robinson: S76.6

 

 

 

Another state of the above design courtesy of Marc DeVriese.

 

View: Night Rain at Narumi (Narumi yu-u, 鳴海夕雨)

Scene: Inagawa Yoshioto (the historical Minamoto no Yoshimoto) fighting in a downpour of rain at the battle of Okehazama (1560)

Robinson: S76.7

 

 

 

View: Homing Geese at the Northern Capital (Pekin rakugan, 北京落雁)

Scene: Fujiwara no Masakiyo (藤原正清, the historical Kato Kiyomasa) watching a flock of geese

Robinson: S76.8

 

NOTE: This is the first edition.

 

 

 

Another state of the above design without ribs in the fan. I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this image.

This is one of several series of prints Kuniyoshi designed consisting of bust portraits with irregularly shaped cartouches in the right upper corner. In each of these series, the cartouche is bordered by small pictures. The table below shows a typical cartouche from each of these series as well as the script within the cartouche that identifies the series. The color of the cartouches is not a reliable guide to identifying the series, as it may vary with successive printings.

English title: Mirror of the Loyal Courage of the Faithful Retainers

Japanese title: Chshin giy kagami

Description: Bust of an actor as one of the Forty-seven Rnin with a landscape background

English title: Famous Views of Edo Selected for the Twelve Months

Japanese title: Edo meisho mitate j-ni ka gwatsu no uchi

Description: Bust of actor with landscape in upper half of print above a stylized cloud

English title: Selection for the Twelve Signs

Japanese title: Mitate jnishi no uchi

Description: Bust of an actor with a full-length figure of another actor in a landscape as a background

English title: Set of Views of Fuji from Edo in Iroha Order

Japanese title: Nanatsu iroha Tto Fuji zukushi

Description: Actors bust with landscape showing Mount Fuji inserter in the left upper corner

English title: Celebrated Products of Mountains and Seas

Japanese title: Sankai medetai zue

Description: Bust of beautiful woman with insert of landscape showing provincial industry in left upper corner

NOTE: Various scripts were used in this series, but the two kanji shown at left are most consistent

English title: Thirty-six Fashionable Restaurants of the Eastern Capital

Japanese title: Tto ryk san-j-rokkwaiseki

Description: Bust of actor with restaurant in background

English title: Military Brilliance for the Eight Views

Japanese title: Ybu hakkei

Description: Bust of a military hero in a landscape

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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