Hideteru Utagawa, The Battle in Kiso Mountain, Warrior


Artist: Hideteru Utagawa (Active in late 19th century)
Title: The Battle in Kiso Mountain
Publisher: Shimizuya Tsunejiro
Date: 1860
Size: (L)36.6 x 24.9 (C)36.8 x 25.1 (R)36.4 x 24.9 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Minamoto no Yoshinaka (1154 – 1184) was a general of the late Heian Period of Japanese history. A member of the Minamoto samurai clan, Minamoto no Yoritomo was his cousin and rival during the Genpei War between the Minamoto and the Taira clans, told in the epic account 'The Tale of the Heike'.


In this dynamic warrior print, Yoshinaka is riding a horse, engulfed by swirling smoke. He is helped in this battle by a Buddhist deity, seen floating in the sky in the middle panel. Taira forces are on the right, launching an attack on Yoshinaka while commander Tomomori awaits for the battle to unfold. Another retainer carriers a standard topped with a golden butterfly, the emblem of the Taira clan. Hideteru's design is unusual, playing on the mythological side of the characters, a magical sword beaming streams of light in the centre.

Hideteru Utagawa (1850 - 1880)

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Print FormatTriptych
ArtistHideteru Utagawa (1850 - 1880)
SubjectSamurai & Male
Size (L)36.6 x 24.9 (C)36.8 x 25.1 (R)36.4 x 24.9 cm
Condition ReportSoiling and wear on the edges, paper residue on the back.
publisherShimizuya Tsunejiro:1843-1904