Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年)

Print: Kiso Komawakamaru Yoshinaka (木曾駒若丸義仲) from the series Sagas of Beauty and Bravery (Biyū Suikoden - 美勇水滸伝)

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Dates: 1866,created
Dimensions: 7.0 in,9.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Ikkai Yoshitoshi hitsu
Publisher: Ōmiya Kyūjirō
(Marks 415 - seal closest to 30-034)
Combined date and censor's seal: 10/1866 and aratame

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Marega Collection, Universita Pontificia Salesiana; Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery;

Physical description:

"The chūban prints from this series were printed two to a block and then cut... The production of the set lasted from 4/1866-4/1867. Once completed, it was issued with an unsigned, undated title page and a contents page that itemised all fifty prints, with the signature Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga (picture by Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi) and the name of Kanagaki Robun in the left margin."

Quoted from: Yoshitoshi: Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection, page 85. The authors note that there appears to be a later edition where the publisher's seal has been left blank.


Kiso Komawaka-maru Yoshinaka was the uncle of Yoshitsune. He is depicted pulling the Tengu king's nose while fighting his apprentices in the Kiso mountains.


The text in the pink cartouche reads: 駒若丸幼稚の時木曾の山中にてあまたの天狗を打こらす成長して智勇兼備の将となり平家を責めなひかす其武功によって旭将軍と称す.


There are 8 other images from this series in the Lyon Collection (#s 1076, 1103, 1104, 1155, 1156, 1157, 1188 and 1189), plus the frontispiece (#1191) and title page (#1190).


There is another copy of this print in the Universidad de Zaragoza. In a loose translation of their description of this print it says: "The samurai Kiso Yoshinaka (1154-1084) of the Shinano Genji clan who lived at the end of the Heian period is depicted. Nicknamed Asahi-shogun (General of the Morning Sun), he was a strong and intelligent young man who was able to defeat the Tengu (supernatural creature of the Japanese tradition) who lived in the mountains of Kiso. Thanks to the neutral gray background, the fight between the protagonist and two winged Tengu, with terrifying faces, as well as their brightly colored clothing stands out in the foreground. Of variegated composition, it is difficult to distinguish where one character ends and another begins, giving it drama." Note: they describe their copy as having a plain background which clearly is not like the one in the Lyon Collection, which we believe is the earlier edition.