Ten Famous Excellencies of Tametomo

(Tametomo homare no jikketsu, 為朝譽十傑)

Publisher: Arita-ya Seiemon



Minamoto Tametomo was a twelfth century warrior whose exploits were fictionalized in a novel by Bakin titled Yumibari tsuki (Bow of the Full Moon).  The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban. 



Scene: Thirteen year old Tametomo catching arrows shot at him in a competition with Shônagon Nyűdô Shinsei

Robinson: S64.1




Scene: Tametomo as a youth on a hunting trip separating two fighting wolves that became his pets

Robinson: S64.2


Image courtesy of Richard Illing


This is an alternate state of the above print with different colors.


Scene: Tametomo beheading the monster Yamaotoko

Robinson: S64.3


Scene: Tametomo’s faithful retainer Kiheiji, who was accidentally left behind, throwing a weighted rope to the ship

Robinson: S64.4


Image courtesy of Kate Zotova


Scene: Tametomo on the seashore with a caged crane that guided him around the Ryűkyű Islands on his back

Robinson: S64.5


Another state of the above design


Scene: Yatsushiro (Kiheiji’s wife) defending herself against a flight of arrows with a naginata; a snarling wolf at her side

Robinson: S64.6


Another state of the above design



Scene: Tametomo resisting arrest with a heavy beam at the hot spring of Ishiyama

Robinson: S64.7


Image courtesy of Richard Illing


Scene: Tametomo’s wife Shiranui shining a lantern in the night rain on her way to rescue her husband

Robinson: S64.8


Image courtesy of Richard Illing


Another state of the above design



Scene: Tametomo is prevented from committing seppuku by the apparition of Emperor Sutoku and the Minamoto clan in the guise of tengu

Robinson: S64.9


NOTE: The term “hara-kiri”, although more common in English than “seppuku”, is considered in Japan to be a vulgar and disrespectful description of an honorable action.  Tengu are forest-dwelling creatures that are either human-like with wings and long noses or bird-like.


Scene: Tametomo in hunting dress and half-armor sees the apparition of an old man rising from the severed head of a bear

Robinson: S64.10


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