Original Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) Japanese Woodblock Print
Chibata Shurinoshin Tatsuie (Shibata Shurinosuke Katsuie)
Series; Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki (Taiheiki Eiyuden)
Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki - Few other Japanese woodblock printmakers ever matched Kuniyoshi's detail and artistry in the genre of warrior prints. Published between 1847 - 1850, Kuniyoshi's fantastic series, "Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki (Grand Pacification)," presents fifty full-length portraits of famous warriors involved in the closing period of the civil wars in 16th century Japan, just before unification of the country. These dramatic images show these leaders engaged in battle or posing heroically in all their military glory. Kuniyoshi captures the unique aspects of each warrior, with texts above detailing their heroic careers. To evade the prohibitions enacted in 1804 against depicting historic figures who lived after 1573, each warrior has a pseudonym that would have been easily recognized by the viewers of the time. The actual name of the individual is provided in parentheses. These prints are a great opportunity to collect a part of Japanese history, dynamically documented by the leading master of warrior prints.
Chibata Shurinoshin Tatsuie (Shibata Shurinosuke Katsuie) - Fantastic Kuniyoshi portrait of Shibata Katsuie, a powerful 16th century warlord in Owari Province. Ordered to guard Chokoji Castle while his master Nobunaga was away campaigning, Katsuie and his 400 men were besieged by Rokkaku Yoshikata's 4000 troops, who quickly cut the aqueduct supplying water to the fortress. When the water supply dwindled, Katsuie gathered his men and destroyed the few remaining water jars, declaring that a quick death in battle was better than a slow death by thirst. They then launched a surprise assault against their attackers, successfully driving them off. The warrior strikes a dramatic pose, leaning on his spear and standing with one foot on a large broken clay water jar, the shards scattered on the ground around him. He wears beautifully detailed armor and his personal standard waves above his back. A terrific samurai image.
Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14" x 9 3/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Backed with paper. A couple small wormholes, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases. Please see photos for details.