Toyonobu Utagawa, Lord Akechi Crossing the River, New Biography of Toyotomi Hideyoshi

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Artist: Toyonobu Utagawa (1859-1896)
Title: Lord Akechi Crossing the River
Series: The New Biography of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi
Date: 1883
Size: (L)34.5 x 24.5 (R)34.5 x 24.2 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)'. This series reveals the rise to power of the legendary Hideyoshi Toyotomi and his famous vassals.


Lord Akechi led the attack on Battle of Honno-ji which killed Oda Nobunaga, and became a legend for his rapid crossing of Lake Biwa to get from Otsu to Sakamoto on horseback after the loss of Battle of Yamazaki and the death of Mitsuhide. His men set fire to Sakamoto Castle and killed their families and themselves to follow their master to the grave.

Toyonobu Utagawa


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
SubjectSamurai & Male, Animal & Birds
Dimensions(L)34.5 x 24.5 (R)34.5 x 24.2 cm
Condition ReportWear and soiling, light tears and creases, hole on the left top of the left panel.
SeriesNewly selected history of Toyotomi Hideyoshi