Original Yoshikata (active circa 1841 - 1864) Japanese Woodblock Print
From the Seven Mashiba Heroes, 1863
Comments - Fantastic triptych depicting warriors battling on horseback and on foot. During the Edo Period, ukiyo-e artists were prohibited from using the real names of samurai, especially those of the Toyotomi Clan. To get around this rule, artists used false names. Here, "The Seven Mashiba Heroes" refers to the "The Seven Spears of Shizugatake," a legendary group of seven famous generals serving Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was also known as Hashiba Hideyoshi. In this scene, two samurai clash with spears from astride their mounts, while other warriors are trampled underfoot. The bearded samurai at left glares ferociously at his opponent as he leans over the side of his horse, gripping his weapon with both hands. His enemy faces him with a stern expression, his hair and white headband blowing in the wind. His sashimono or personal standard flies above his back, a demon head with flowing hair. In the center background, another hero lifts an enemy above his head, ready to dash him to the ground. A fascinating subject with great expressive faces and a dramatic mountain setting. A great choice for a samurai enthusiast.
Artist - Yoshikata (active circa 1841 - 1864)
Image Size - 14" x 28 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. A couple small losses at corners, repaired. A few creases at edges. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.