Artist: Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861)
TItle: Inaue Daikuro Masatada
Series: Heroes of the Grand Pacification
Publisher: Yamamoto-ya Heikichi
Dimensions: 24.5 x 35.1 cm
This print from Kuniyoshi’s series ‘Heroes of the Grand Pacification’ shows the warrior Inaue Daikuro Masatada shooting quite a peculiar sort of firearm. Certain details indicate that the battle is fought against Chinese troops. Chinese auspicious symbols are interwoven into the composition. A peony, seen on the ground, is a traditional sign of affluence in China. The fact that the flower is shown at the warrior’s feet could be a hint of the defeat suffered by the Chinese army in battle, an episode which the print represents.