Yoshikazu Utagawa, Washio Saburo and Yoshitsune, Warriors


Artist: Yoshikazu Utagawa (active ca. 1850–70)
Title: Lord Yoshitsune Hiding behind Ichinotani Valley
Publisher: Kiya Sojiro
Date: 1853
Size: (L) 26.0 x 37.5 (C) 26.0 x 37.4 (R) 26.0 x 37.4 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Minamoto no Yoshitsune has become a legendary hero in Japan for his countless military exploits recounted in the Japanese epic ‘The Tale of Heike’. After the victory at Dannoura, where the Taira clan was famously defeated, the warlord Yoshitsune swiftly departed from the capital after hearing of his death warrant from his own brother Yoritomo that had become shogun. After finally consolidating his military rule of Japan, Yoritomo sought to quell any threat to his reign even if that meant assassinating his loyal brother. With a small retinue, Yoshitsune escaped East.


Part of Yoshitsune’s retinue were many brave warriors who had stayed faithful to their lord. One of them was Yoshihisa, previously known as Washio Saburo, a former hunter of incredible strength who swore his allegiance to Yoshitsune. With an incredible feat of strength, a wild looking Saburo is seen lifting an oversized tree trunk, to the amazement of the onlookers. His overgrown hair and lack of armour are proof of his humble origins. Yoshitsune, Benkei and the rest of their group are seen on the right-hand side, heavily clad in battle attire.

Yoshikazu Utagawa (act. 1850 - 1870)

Yoshikazu started his artistic career as a pupil of Kuniyoshi Utagawa. Later on, he designed prints in the Yokohama school style, his subject matter including foreign customs and manners as well as landscapes and warriors.

More Information
Print FormatTriptych
ArtistYoshikazu Utagawa (act. 1850 - 1870)
SubjectSamurai & Male
Size(L) 26.0 x 37.5 (C) 26.0 x 37.4 (R) 26.0 x 37.4 cm
Condition ReportSome creases, slight misprint in some areas.
publisherKiya Sojiro:1851-1904