Sixteen Stories of Musashi-b Benkei

(Jroku Musashi-b Benkei, 十六武蔵坊)

c. 1848-1850


Musashi-b Benkei was a warrior-monk who served Yoshitsune. The former was known as Oniwaka Maru in childhood. In spite of the title of this series, Robinson only described six designs, and it is unlikely that any more exist. The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ban.


Scene: Oniwaka beating two young monastery acolytes, with an unwound scroll of text draped over him

Publisher: Jsh-ya Kinz

Robinson: S68.1


No image available


Scene: Oniwaka shaving his head


Robinson: S68.2


Scene: Oniwaka and the monster carp

Publisher: Jsh-ya Kinz

Robinson: S68.3


Scene: Oniwaka holding a straight razor and looking down a well

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Robinson: S68.4


Scene: Benkei and a leaping magic fox in the snow

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Robinson: S68.5


Scene: Benkei in formal robes seizing Tosa-b Shshun by the back of his neck

Publisher: Jsh-ya Kinz

Robinson: S68.6

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