Toyonobu Utagawa, Kimura Matazou and Inoue Taikurou, Warriors


Artist: Toyonobu Utagawa (1859-1896)
Title: Kato Toranosuke watches the fight between Kimura Matazou and Inoue Taikurou
Series: The New Biography of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi
Date: 1883
Dimensions: (L) 23.6 x 35.4 (R) 23.5 x 35.7 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

This diptych is part of Toyonobu's famous series 'Shinsen Taikoki', translated as 'New selection of the biography of the Taiko (Hideyoshi Toyotomi)'. The series shows the rise to power of the legendary Hideyoshi Toyotomi and his famous vassals.


The print shows two warriors engaged in an epic duel in the woods. On the left is Kimura Matazou, a vassal of Kato Toranosuke (who would become Kato Kiyomasa one of Hideyoshi's closest retainers). He thrusts at his foe with his blade. On the right is Inoue Taikurou, his fellow vassal, a hulking warrior who is making a brutal swing with his katana. From behind a nearby tree, Kato watches this match take place.


Kimura's black robe is beautifully embossed with a geometric pattern.

Toyonobu Utagawa (1859 - 1896)

Toyonobu was one of the last heirs of the tradition of the Utagawa School. He was the grandson of Kunisada and the son of Kunihisa. His prints centre around the theme of warriors. One of his most successful series is ‘New Selection of the Biography of the Taiko’ (Hideyoshi Toyotomi). This series tell us the story of the ascension of Hideyoshi Toyotomi and his famous vassals.

More Information
Print FormatDiptych
ArtistToyonobu Utagawa (1859 - 1896)
SubjectSamurai & Male
Size(L) 23.6 x 35.4 (R) 23.5 x 35.7 cm
Condition ReportMinor stain on right panel. Top left panel creased slightly.
SeriesNewly selected history of Toyotomi Hideyoshi::Toyonobu Utagawa