Thirty-six Hero-poets

(Eiyű sanjűrokkasen, 英雄 三十六歌仙)

Publisher: Murata-ya Ichibei

December 1852 - January 1853

 

A book having the same title as this series was published in 1848 and illustrated by Sadahide.  However, there is little similarity between Sadahide’s illustrations and this series.  In spite of the series title, only these designs are known.  The series was originally published by Murata-ya Ichibei in rat 11 (Dec. 1852 – Jan. 1853). It was republished, in whole or in part, by Ôsada (c. 1860-68), and then Yorozu-ya Magobie published a posthumous edition.  The prints are each about 10 by 14 inches (25 by 36 centimeters), a size known as ôban.  I am grateful to Robert Pryor for his contributions to this section.

 

 

Hero-poet: Chinzei Hachirô Tametomo (鎮西八郎為朝), face in profile, seated in armor on a fur rug with his naginata (pole arm) resting on a bamboo stand

Landscape: The sea between mountains

Robinson: S77.1

 

Another state without a green foreground

 

Hero-poet: Gen Sammi Yorimasa (源三位賴政) seated on a palace balcony in court robes over armor shielding his pace with his sleeve

Landscape: Irises (ayame)

Robinson: S77.2

 

NOTE: The poet’s name may also be read as Gen Zanmi Yorimasa.  The irises (ayame) are an allusion to Ayame-no-maye whom the emperor gave to Yorimasa in marriage after the latter killed the monstrous nuye.

 

A simplified version of the above design published by Ôsada

 

Some of the woodblocks for the preceding prints were reused by the publisher Yorozu-ya Magobie, with an entirely different text.  In this print, the subject is identified as Minamoto Yorimasa no (源賴政之像).

 

 

Hero-poet: Hachiman-tarô Yoshi-ie (八幡太郎義家) bareheaded in hunting clothes carrying his bow

Landscape: A green hillside

Robinson: S77.3

 

Some of the woodblocks for the preceding print were reused by the publisher Yorozu-ya Magobie, with an entirely different text.  In this print, the subject is identified as Oda Nobunaga no (織田信長之像).

 

 

Hero-poet: Empress regent Jingô Kôgô (神功皇后) seated in court robes leaning on an armrest by a brocade curtain 

Landscape: Chrysanthemums

Robinson: S77.4

 

NOTE: The empress regent’s name may also be read as Jingű-kôgô.

 

A simplified version of the above design published by Ôsada

 

 

Hero-poet: Shinchűnagon Taira no Tomomori (新中納言平知盛) standing in court robes over armor grasping a naginata (pole arm)

Landscape: A green hillside above a band of mist

Robinson: S77.5

 

I am grateful to Ward Pieters for locating this image.

 

A simplified version of the above design published by Ôsada

 

Hero-poet: Yamamoto Kansuke (山ホ勘助晴行), a general of Shingen Takeda

Landscape:

Robinson: Not listed 

 

NOTE: On this print, the series title is written as 英雄 三十六歌僊, unlike the other prints on which the series title is written as英雄 三十六歌仙.

 

 

 

Hero-poet: Takeda Harunobu Nyűdô Shingen (武田晴信入道信玄)

Landscape:

Robinson: Not listed

 

 

Hero-poet: Shinra Saburô Yoshimitsu (新羅三郎 義光), who is also known as Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, playing the shô, probably at Ashigara Pass)

Landscape: Birds in flight

Robinson: Not listed

 

 

Title: Picture of Uesugi Kenshin (Uesugi Kenshin no , 上杉謙信之像)

Publisher: Yorozu-ya Magobie (萬屋孫兵工板)

Text: The son of Nagao Shinano no kami Tamekage, whose direct lineage was to the eldest son of Kamakura Gongorô Kagemasa, the 10th generation from the grandson of Taira no Yoshifumi.  He was first Nagao Kagetora and later became Uesugi Terutora, junior 5th rank. (平の艮文十世え孫, 鎌倉権五郎景政嫡流, 長尾信濃守為景男, 初め長尾景虎後, 上杉輝, 虎と号, 従五位下弾, 正大弼閣東管領, 上杉謙信え像)

 

I am grateful to Alexander Wilson for this image.

 

Another state of the above design without a colored ground, also published by Yorozu-ya Magobie

 

“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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