Warrior triptychs



Title: Yamashiro no kuni Kasagi ishi-ie kassen no zu (The Battle of Kasagi Castle in Yamashiro Province, 山城之国笠城之石家合戦之図)

Description: Defence of Kasagi Castle by the loyalists against the Rokuhara forces (1331) with tree trunks and rocks being hurled down on the attackers

Publisher: Tsuru-ya Kiemon

Date: c. 1832

Robinson: T19

Kuniyoshi - (T 19) The battle in Yamashro Province, 1845 (Alt

I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this alternate state of the above design.á

Title: Kuramayama no zu (Picture of Mount Kurama, 鞍馬山之図)

Description: Ushiwaka Maru practicing fencing with the tengu under the direction of S˘j˘-b˘ with Kisanda in attendance

Publisher: ďmi-ya Heihachi (listed as Yezaki-ya Tatsuz˘ in Robinson)

Date: c. 1832

Robinson: T20

Kuniyoshi - (T 21) drinking bout of (Minamoto) Raiko and his retainers with Shutendoji in his palace on Oeyama (Oeyama Shutendoji Sakeda no zu)

Title: ďeyama Shuten-d˘ji shűzui no zu (The Drinking Party of the Shutend˘ji at Mount ďe, 大江山酒天童子酒宴之図)

Description: The drinking bout of Raik˘ and his retainers with the Shuten-d˘ji in the latterĺs palace on Mount ďeyama

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Date: c. 1832

Robinson: T21

Title: Nitta Ashikaga ˘-watashi ˘-kassen

Description: Nitta Yoshisada and his troops swimming across a river (probably the Iruma River) by a broken bridge to attack a fortified position on the opposite bank

Publisher: S˘shű-ya Yohei

Date: c.1832

Robinson: T22


Description: Sasaki Takatsuna (佐々木 高綱) and Kajiwara Kagetoki (梶原 景時) leading troops at the battle of Uji River

Publisher: Kawaguchi-ya Sh˘z˘á

Date: c.1832

Robinson: T22a (not in Robinson)


I am grateful to Vana Johnson for this image.

Title: Gyakushin Masakado wa Rokur˘ Kintsura ga isame no etc.

Description: Musashi Gor˘ Sadayo striking Rokur˘ Kintsura with his fan before the latterĺs brother Masakado

Publisher: Akamatsu-ya Sh˘tar˘

Date: c. 1833-1834

Robinson: T23

I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this alternate state of the above design.

This is an altered version of the above triptych to depict a scene from an 1834 production of the kabuki play Tokiwa Ima Shusse no Ukesho (時今出世券).á The actors from left to right are Band˘ Mitsugor˘ IV as Takechi Mitsuhide, Iwai Hanshir˘ VI as Ranmaru, and Sawamura Tossh˘ I as Harunaga.

Date: 9th month of 1834

Theater: Morita

Publisher: Akamatsu-ya Sh˘tar˘


Title: Shimotsuke no kuni Nasu no hara kimm˘ hakumen kyűbi no akko taiji no zu

Description: The Nine-tailed Fox slain on Nasu moor by Miura-no-suke Tsunetane and Kazusa no Suke Hirotsune

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Date: c. 1834

Robinson: T24


I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this image.

Title: Yoshinaka hata-age kassen no zu

Description: The first battle at the erecting of Yoshinakaĺs standard in Shinano (1180): Shir˘ Nagamochi on horseback (left) cutting at Tayű-b˘ Kakumei (center), and Tomoe-gozen killing Kurotsuka Hachir˘ (right)

Publisher: Takenouchi Magohachi

Date: c. 1834

Robinson: T25


NOTE: This triptych was reissued in 1845 with numerous alterations as T160.á The title was changed to Takeda Uesugi Kawanakajima ˘-kassen no zu, Nagamochi became Uesugi Kenshin, Tayű-b˘ became Takeda Shingen and the right hand sheet blocks were recut to eliminate Tomoe-gozen.


I am grateful to Ward Pieters for locating this image.

Kuniyoshi - (T 26) The battle of the Minatogawa on July 4, 1336- fighting on a hill with the Ashikaga fleet approaching in the distance

Title: Engen gwan-nen go-gwatsu nijűgo-nichi Minatogawa ˘-kassen (Great Battle of the Minato River on the 25th Day of the Fifth Month, 1336, 延元元年五月二十五日湊川大合戦)

Description: The battle of the Minatogawa on July 4, 1336: fighting on a hill with the Ashikaga fleet approaching in the distance

Publisher: Tsuru-ya Kiemon

Date: c. 1834

Robinson: T26


I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this image.

Kuniyoshi - (T 26a) Raik˘ cutting off head of Shuten D˘ji, which springs into, Raik˘'s 4 chief retainers (shitenn˘) are shown, Usui Sadamitsu, Sakata no Kintoki, Hirai Yasumasa, Urabe Suyetake & Genji Tsuna (killing a demon)

Title: Untitled

Description: Raik˘ cutting off the head of the monster Shuten D˘ji, which springs in the air.á Raik˘ĺs five chief retainers (shitenn˘) are shown, left to right, Usui Sadamitsu, Sakata no Kintoki, Hirai Yasumasa, Urabe Suetake, and Genji Tsuna (killing a demon)á

Publisher: Sano-ya Kihei

Date: c.1835

Robinson: T26a


NOTE: This triptych is listed in the privately published supplement to Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982).

Title: Kanshin mata-kuguri no zu (韓信骻潜之圖, The Humility of Kanshin)

Description: Kanshin crawling between the legs of a fisherman, to the amusement of the latterĺs companions

Publisher: Sano-ya Kihei

Date: c. 1835

Robinson: T27


Another state of the above design

A later printing, c. 1843, with the seal of the censor, Tanaka

Kuniyoshi - (T 28) Sanada Yoichi Yoshisiha & Matano Gor˘ Kegehisa Fighting at Ishibashiyama

Title: Sanada no Yoichi Yoshihisa, Matano no Gor˘ Kagehisa (真田与市能久 俣野五郎景久, Sanada no Yoichi Yoshihisa and Matano no Gor˘ Kagehisa)

Description: Struggle between Yoshihisa and Kagehisa at the Battle of Ishibashiyama in 1180

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Date: 1846-1852

Robinson: T28


NOTE: The name ôYoshihisaö was erroneously substituted for ôYoshitadaö.á Although Robinson dates this triptych as c. 1835, the signature and the existence of another state with the seals of the censors Fuku and Muramatsu, indicate a date of 1849-1851.á

Title: Igagoe kataki-uchi no zu (The Igagoe Revenge, 伊賀越敵討図)

Description: Karaki Masaemon (center) fighting against superior forces; Busuke and Magohachi defending a bridge (right); spectators in the background

Publisher: Yamashiro-ya Jinbei (山甚板)

Date: c.1835

Robinson: T29


NOTE: Kuniyoshiĺs signature, the censorĺs seal, and the publisherĺs seal are on the wooden post in the left sheet.

This triptych differs from the previous state in that the publisherĺs seal (best seen on the wooden post in the left sheet) is that of S˘shű-ya Yohei (近總與) instead of Yamashiro-ya Jinbei (山甚板).á I am grateful to Vladislav Shevyrev for this image.

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for these keyblock prints for two sheets from the above triptych.


Description: Ise no Kami Yoshitsune (伊後守義経) and his retainer Kumai Tar˘ (熊井 太郎) preparing to defend Horikawa Palace against the attack of Tosa- Sh˘shun (土佐坊昌俊) and his men, who are seen approaching in the background.

Publisher: not indicated on the one sheet seen by Robinson

Date: c.1835

Robinson: T29a


NOTE: This is the right-hand sheet of a triptych