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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Hayashi Tanshirō Taketoshi (林丹四郎武俊) from the series Heroes of the Great Peace (Taiheiki eiyuden - 太平記英勇傳)

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Dates: 1849,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.375 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
一勇斎国芳画
Artist's seal: kiri
Publisher: Yamamotoya Heikichi
(Marks 595 - seal 04-007)
Censors: Mera and Murata

Related links: Muzeum Sztuki i Techniki Japońskiej Manggha, Krakow;

Physical description:

Illustrated:

1) in color in Samurai Stars of the Stage and Beautiful Women: Kunisada and Kuniyoshi, Masters of the Color Woodblock Print by Hatje Cantz, Museum Kunstpalast, p. 191. There is also another very small colored reproduction of this print on page 270, #169.

Part of the text of this entry states: "This sheet shows the last heroic feat by the historical Hayashi Hanshirō Taketoshi. We see how he simultaneously strangles two opponents during the battle of Uchideno Hama. That same day, he fell at the side of his commander, Akechi Mitsuharu, an opponent of Toyotomi [Hideyoshi]."

2) in a full-page color reproduction in Heroes of the grand pacification: Kuniyoshi's Taiheiki eiyūden by Elena Varshavskaya, Hotei Publishing, 2005, p. 129.

Varshavskaya gives the translation of the text as:

Among Samaosuke's... vassals [Hayashi Tanshirō Taketoshi] was unsurpassed in bravery. At the time when [Samanosuke's] own lord... died in action in the suburbs of the capital, [Hayashi Tanshirō Taketoshi] together with Samanosuke Mitsutoshi... were in the castle of Ajichi... in Ōmi province. With things having turned this way, they [together with the small force they had] were going to get into Takamoto castle... of the same province. They reached Uchidenohama... when unexpectedly they fell in with the enemy and a several-hour-log fight occurred there. The remnant troops, a mere sixteen warriors, were attacked by he enemies that came on in swarms and surrounded Samanosuke's small force to let none of the men survive. At that moment from behind Mitsutoshi's back a warrior, swaying, stepped forward. The army was looking at him. He seemed thirty-seven - thirty-eight years of age, his height was over six haku... and one could see he was ready to fight furiously. He tore off his left and right ōsode - shoulder guards, and his kusazuri - protective skirt, throwing them two or three ken away. He pulled off his helmet, his ruffled side-whiskers getting rough, his black eyes becoming round, his hair and moustache standing on end, and his long sword (nodachi) with the blade of over six shaku in length readied. Raking his hair with his left hand, having raised his voice in semblance to the roar of a temple bell, he thundered: 'Have you heard of a brave warrior of Toki's... vassals - during the past subjugation of Tanba province he was called demon-of-a-warrior. He defeated Akai Akuemon, winning resounding fame for this. His name was Hayashi Tanshirō Taketoshi, and that was me.' Saying this, he brandished his sword (nodachi) and in a twinkling of an eye killed many enemies. Now, when there was nothing else that he could do, he seized two enemies who happened to be close at hand to his right and left, jumped into the waters of the lake and disappeared. That is how a warrior who intimidated the world fell in battle.

Varshavskaya in describing this print said: "Hayashi Tanshirō Taketoshi is shown during the battle of Uchidenohama, a small but severe engagement of historical significance. This fight followed immediately after the battle fo Yamazaki and completed defeat of Akechi Mitsuhide's army. According to a fictionalised account of the events, Hayashi Taketoshi ran out into the battlefield and announced that he intended to take everyone standing in his way 'to the king of the underworld.' The print shows Hayashi Hanshirō [his real historical name] ready to fulfil his threat. He easily carries two warriors in full armour, having squeezed them under his arms so violently that their faces turned grey from suffocation."

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Uchidenohama is Uchide beach of Lake Biwa.