Toshihide Migita, The Tale of the Soga Brothers, Warrior


Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Toshihide Migita (1863-1925)
Title: Tokimune (Soga Goro) Sneaking into Yoritomo's Residence
Publisher: Sasaki Toyokichi
Date: 1891
Dimensions: (L) 24 x 34.5 (C) 24.5 x 35 (R) 23.8 x 34.7 cm
Condition: Some pinholes and minor tears. Small hole and tear on the left panel.


Through the dramatic use of perspective and colour, Toshihide reenvisions the climax of the Tale of the Soga Brothers. A particularly favourite subject in ukiyo-e, the story follows two brothers seeking to avenge their murdered father, recounting their trials and hardships along the way. Here, one of the brothers, Soga Goro, who can be identified by his butterfly robe, approaches the completion of his revenge. His father's killer, Kudō Suketsune, cowers before him. Silvery streaks of rain are visible in the pitch-black night, evoking the tense sound of a storm. Clever use of the vertical wood panels gives an extreme sense of space, diving the eye towards the shadowy corners of the mansion rendered with bokashi gradation. Natural woodgrain from the printing block has imbued the wooden slats of the residence with its natural texture, which in conjunction with the keen attention and care for detail in the scene, heighten its realism and dynamism. Extremely successful work from the pupil of Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, which resonates with his master's sense of movement and drama.

Toshihide Migita (1862 - 1925)

Toshihide received his artistic name from his master, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1839-1892). He designed a wide variety of prints including actor prints, bijin-ga (prints of beautiful women), newspaper illustrations, kuchi-e (illustrations for novels) and senso-e of the Sino-Japanese (1894-1895) and Russo-Japanese (1904-1905) Wars. From 1887, like many of the woodblock artists who were trying to adapt to changes in art and publishing, he worked as an illustrator for books and newspapers, including a long stint with the Asahi Shinbun starting in 1897.

More Information
Print FormatTriptych
ArtistToshihide Migita (1862 - 1925)
SubjectSamurai & Male
Size(L) 24 x 34.5 (C) 24.5 x 35 (R) 23.8 x 34.7 cm
publisherSasaki Toyokichi:1885-1898