Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, Kintaro Captures Carp, Waterfall, Japanese Folklore

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Original Japanese woodblock print. 

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 – 1892)
Title: Kintaro Captures the Carp
Publisher: Hasegawa Tsunejiro
Date: 1885


Kintarō, often translated as the Golden Boy, is a prevalent figure in Japanese folklore. He is commonly thought to be based on Sakata Kintoki, a retainer of the samurai Minamoto no Yoshitsune during the Heian period (794-1185). Although there are several variations of the legend, most stories depict Kintarō raised in the wild by a mountain witch known as a yama-uba. From an early age Kintarō displayed phenomenal strength and a closeness with the animals from the mountain. Many tales describe his various adventures defeating oni demons and helping the local villagers. Arguably, one of the most famous of Kintarō’s exploits is his wrestling with a giant koi carp, demonstrating the extent of his physical ability. Yoshitoshi’s vertical composition emphasises the dynamism of the scene: Kintarō dives with the carp close to the riverbed as the yama-uba searches for him atop the banks. The print is lightly dusted with mica powder, giving the impression of water droplets.

More Information
Artist Name Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Title Kintaro Captures the Carp
Subject Samurai & Male, Animal & Birds
Condition Report Minor pinholes.