Ten Famous Excellencies of Tametomo

(Tametomo homare no jikketsu, 為朝譽十傑)

Publisher: Arita-ya Seiemon

1848-1851

 

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.

 

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