Warrior triptychs

1851-1852, Part I

 

 

Title: Masakado muhon no kuwadate ototo Rokur˘ Kintsura kore wo isamu

Description: Rokur˘ Kintsura driven from the court of his brother Masakado after protesting at the latterĺs rebellious schemes

Publisher: Izumi-ya Ichibei

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T252

 

Title: Untitled

Description: The penance of monk Mongaku Sh˘nin under the waterfall of Nachi, encouraged by the god Fud˘ and his acolytes Kongara and Seitaka

Publisher: Sumiyoshi-ya Masagor˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T253

 

NOTE: This is a vertical triptych composed of three separate sheets each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban.á The curling lines of foaming water at the bottom are embossed in the first edition, but printed in blue in the second edition.

Title: Tametomo no yumi no ikioi no zu (Tametomoĺs Martial Strength, 為朝弓勢之圖)

Description: Tametomo, attended by his followers, sinking the leading ship of Mochimitsuĺs fleet with a single arrow with a small whirlpool to the left

Publisher: Tsuta-ya Umejir˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T254

Title: Mutsu no Kami Hidehira hy˘j˘ no zu

Description: Fujiwara no Hidehira, Lord of Mutsu and protector of Yoshitsune holding court

Publisher: Fujioka-ya Keijir˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T255

Title: Yashima ˘-kassen (八島大合戦, The Battle of Yashima)

Description: The Battle of Yashima: Noritsune (left) shooting Sat˘ Tsuginobu; behind, the Taira fleet, with Nasu no Yoichi shooting the fan off the pole

Publisher: Hayashi-ya Sh˘gor˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T256

 

This triptych may be placed side-by-side with T221 to form a six-sheet composition:

Another state of the above design with a different seal of the publisher Hayashi-ya Sh˘gor˘.á I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this image.

 

Title: Yoshino-yama kassen

Description: Sat˘ Tadanobu on top of the Yoshino Pagoda wearing Yoshitsuneĺs armor with the monk Yokogawa Kakuhan below

Publisher: Sumiyoshi-ya Masagor˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T257

 

NOTE: This is a vertical triptych composed of three separate sheets each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban.

Title: Kawanakajima kassen sonae wo tatenaosu zu (川中島合戦 備を立直す図)

Description: Takeda Shingen reviewing his troops, who carry large inscribed banners, in preparation for the Battle of Kawanakajima

Publisher: Tsujioka-ya Bunsuke

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T258

Title: Kawanakajima ˘-kassen no zu (川中島大合戦之圖, The Battle of Kawanakajima)

Description: The prowess of Yamamoto Kansuke at the Battle of Kawanakajima

Publisher: Izumi-ya Ichibei

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T259

Title: Chűshingura yo-uchi no zu (Treasury of the Loyal Retainers: Picture of the Night Attack, 忠臣蔵夜討之圖)

Description: The seizing of Moronao (right) by the Forty-Seven R˘nin, while the fight goes on in the garden and palace

Publisher: Tsujioka-ya Bunsuke

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T260

A later printing of the above design with a blue title cartouche in the right upper corner.á This is a simplified and less labor intensive printing in which the shading (bokashi) on the snow-covered roof was eliminated.á Bokashi was achieved by hand-applying a gradation of ink to the wooden printing block, rather than inking the block uniformly. This hand-application had to be repeated for each impression.

Title: Untitled

Description: Raik˘ and his retainers attacking the drunken monster Shuten-d˘ji on Mount ďe

Publisher: Amatsu

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T261

Title: Untitled

Description: Kid˘ Maru, making a rush at Raik˘, is seized by the latterĺs retainers

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T262

Another state of the above print.á Note Kid˘ Maruĺs skin color in the central panel.

Title: Sanuki no in kenzoku wo shite Tametomo wo sukuni zu (讃岐院眷属をして為朝をすくに圖)

Description: Tametomo, shipwrecked by a giant fish, is rescued by tengu

Publisher: Sumiyoshi-ya Masagor˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T263

Title: Minamoto (no) Ushiwaka Maru S˘j˘-b˘ no shitagau bujutsu wo (牛若丸僧正坊隋武術覚図)

Description: Ushiwaka Maru, attended by Kisanda, practicing fencing with the tengu in the forest at night under the direction of their king, S˘j˘-b˘

Publisher: Enshű-ya Hikobei

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T264

Title: Awazu-ga-hara ˘-kassen no zu (粟津原大合戰之圖, Picture of the Battle of Awazu Moor)

Description: The Battle of Awazu Moor: Tomoe-gozen given a drink of water by Kaneyuki (center), Yoshinaka urging his horse into the frozen bog (right) and Kanehira fighting off the pursuit

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijir˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T265

Title: Daimotsu-no-ura kaitei no zu (The Sea Bed at Daimotsu Bay, 大物之浦海底之圖)

Description: The ghosts of Tomomori, with his huge anchor, and the other slain Taira warriors at the bottom of the sea; some, in the form of crabs, hurry off to attack Yoshitsuneĺs ship

Publisher: Fujioka-ya Keijir˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T266

Title: Horikawa yo-uchi no zu

Description: Yoshitsune and his men (Benkei and Shizuka in the lead) on a wooden platform fighting off the troops of Tosa-b˘ Sh˘shun attacking the

Horikawa Palace

Publisher: Sano-ya Kihei

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T267

Title: ďshű Takadachi kassen (奥州高舘合戦,á The Battle of Takadachi in Osshu)

Description: Hatakeyama Shigetada, a large mounted figure (right), reconnoitering the castle of Takadachi across the moat

Publisher: Fujioka-ya Keijir˘

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T268

Title: Yoritomo ďshű Hiraizumi kassen mizuseme no zu (Yoritomoĺs battle at Hiraizumi in Mutsu Province: The Attack by Water)

Description: Yoritomoĺs troops swept away by a flood and falling under the enemyĺs arrows in their attack on Hiraizumi with Wada Yoshimori clinging to an overturned boat (center foreground)

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya T˘bei

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T268a

Title: Soga ky˘dai chichi no ada-uchi no zu (The Soga Brothers Revenge their Father, 曽我兄弟父の仇討図)

Description: The Soga brothersĺ revenge: Gor˘, after killing Suketsune, knocking down Yoritomoĺs retainers, whirling one of them: by the arm, while Jur˘ is engaged by Tadatsune

Publisher: Sano-ya Kihei

Date: 1851-1852

Robinson: T269

ôRobinsonö 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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