Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Faithful Samurai, Kataoka Dengoemon Takafusa

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1798-1861)
Title: 15. Kataoka Dengoemon Takafusa
Series: Stories of the True Loyalty of the Faithful Samurai
Publisher: Ebiya Rinnosuke
Date: 1847-1848
Dimensions: 24.7 x 35.7 cm
Condition: Wormhole restored. Minor creases. Pinholes. Some faint stains.



Our whole existence
Lighter than a goose feather -
The morning snow


A devoted student of military tactics and practicer of the warrior arts, Kataoka laid down his life seeking vengeance for his lord. In accordance with bushidō [lit. way of the warrior], Kataoka's poem expresses the attitude to life and death held by the samurai class; the end is not to be feared, a warrior's existence is but a trivial matter, like snow life melts away soon after it falls. His words reflect his impulsive nature: upon hearing of his lord's death sentence, Kataoka was the first to act, immediately planning the assassination of his accuser. Kuniyoshi makes clear the samurai's hardiness, with Kataoka resting on his bloodied spear, panting after a particularly fearsome skirmish.

More Information
Artist Name Kuniyoshi Utagawa
Title 15. Kataoka Dengoemon Takafusa
Subject Samurai & Male
Dimensions 24.7 x 35.7 cm
Series The Faithful Samurai
Publisher Ebiya Rinnosuke