Original Minowa Sonomura Japanese Woodblock Print
Series; Lives of Loyal Heroes of Recent Times
Lives of Loyal Heroes of Recent Times - Published circa 1873, the series "Lives of Loyal Heroes of Recent Times" presents portraits of samurai involved in the assassination of Chief Minister Ii Naosuke, Lord Hikone. Naosuke had signed the Harris Treaty with the United States in 1858, opening Japan to trade with America, a move that sharply divided the country. He was assassinated by seventeen samurai from Mito and one from Satsuma on March 24, 1860 in an ambush outside the Sakurada Gate at Edo Castle. The event became known as the "Sakuradamon Incident" and helped trigger the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Many of the designs show the samurai in the midst of the attack, wielding weapons in action poses, while others show the heroes in more quiet moments. Yoshitsuya and Minowa Sonomura contributed images to the series, but it is not well documented. A rarely seen series and an interesting depiction of a historic event.
Artist - Minowa Sonomura
Image Size - 14" x 9"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Slight toning, soiling, and creasing. Please see photos for details.