Female Samurai
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Series: The Meiji period (明治時代, Meiji-jidai) Restoration: 1868 -1912

Category: Women Samurai

Accession Number: DFJN2020PRWS0016
Title (Original): 堀川宮殿での夜襲、1847-1852
Title: Horikawa kyūden de no yashū,
Translated Title: Night Attack at Horikawa Palace, 1847-1852

Artist (Original): 歌川国芳 

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
Medium: Japanese woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and colour on paper
Signature: Unknown
Seal: Unknown

Publisher (Original): Sano-ya Kihei 

Publisher: Unknown
Engraver: Unknown
Publication Date: 1851-1852 

Acquisition Date: 29 / 10 / 2020
Country of origin: Japan


Size: Vertical ōban. Triptych. 35.4 x 71.4 cm

Condition: Excellent colour and detail. Three separate panels. Small fold at corner. Wormholes, (repaired). Slight soiling, a few creases.

Terrific scene of Minamoto no Yoshitsune and his men fighting off Tosa-bo Shoshun’s attack on Horikawa Palace, where Yoshitsune had sought refuge from his brother, Yoritomo. Dressed in kimono, the surprised warriors rush to the edge of the palace verandah, using pole arms to fend off the attackers below. At right, Yoshitsune fends off opponents with his weapon, the broken wooden railing crashing down before him. In the centre, a samurai plunges his spear at an enemy who has tumbled onto his back. At left, Yoshitsune’s wife, Tomoe Gozen, fearlessly charges the enemies gripping her naginata with both hands, while above, the loyal warrior monk Benkei does the same. Arrows litter the wooden deck and a drapery featuring the paulownia crest of the Minamoto Clan frames the scene. A great design with expressive figures, wonderful detail, and an atmospheric night setting.





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