Kuniteru III Utagawa, Peach Garden Oath, Three Kingdoms

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JG012003
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Artist: Kuniteru III Utagawa (active 1886-1895)
Title: Peach Garden Oath from Three Kingdoms
Publisher: Yazawa Hisakichi
Date: 1892
Size: (L) 36.8 x 24.9, (C) 36.9 x 24.8, (R) 36.9 x 24.7 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

 

The Three Kingdoms was a long period (220-280CE) of turmoil and warfare in China as three major kingdoms, the Wei, Shu, and Wu, vied for rulership of the entire country. This time was later novelised as 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' in the 14th century, and it is from this version that Kuniyoshi draws his inspiration.

 

This triptych illustrates the three leaders Kwanu, Gentoku, and Chohi meeting in a peach orchard to take an oath of brotherhood, swearing to serve each other and the state rather than continue fighting amongst themselves. The peach tree behind them is in full bloom, suggesting that the country is at last at peace. Peach symbolism features frequently in Chinese and Japanese art, thought to confer longevity or even immortality once eaten.


More Information
Print FormatTriptych
SubjectSamurai & Male, Others
Size(L) 36.8 x 24.9, (C) 36.9 x 24.8, (R) 36.9 x 24.7 cm
Condition ReportMinor spots and stains, creases.