Toyonobu Utagawa, Young Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, The New Biography of Toyotomi Hideyoshi


Artist: Toyonobu Utagawa (1859-1896)
Title: Hiyoshimaru (young Hideyoshi) coming across Takechiyo (young Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Series: The New Biography of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Publisher: Morimoto Junzaburo
Date: 1883
Size: (L)34.9 x 23.4, (R) 34.9 x 24.0 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 shows the rise to power of the legendary Hideyoshi Toyotomi and his famous vassals.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi(1537-1598) and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) were two of the three great unifiers of Japan. They both were allied with the first of the great unifiers, Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582). Though it is unclear if they ever met at a young age, and their age difference isn't quite as stark as the one shown in the diptych, a young Hideyoshi is seen playing with a woven ring while Tokugawa's entourage looks on.

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
Dimensions(L)34.9 x 23.4, (R) 34.9 x 24.0 cm
Condition ReportSlightly trimmed, some ink spots, light brown stain on the right panel.