49
49

PROPERTY OF A LADY

UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)

THE GHOSTS OF THE TAIRA ATTACK YOSHITSUNE IN DAIMOTSU BAY

  EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY
Estimate
8,00010,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
49

PROPERTY OF A LADY

UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)

THE GHOSTS OF THE TAIRA ATTACK YOSHITSUNE IN DAIMOTSU BAY

  EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY
Estimate
8,00010,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Japanese Art

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London

UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1798-1861)

THE GHOSTS OF THE TAIRA ATTACK YOSHITSUNE IN DAIMOTSU BAY

  EDO PERIOD, 19TH CENTURY
woodblock triptych, each sheet signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga, published by Enshuya Hikobei, circa 1849-1852
49.6 x 91 cm, 19 1/2  x 35 4/5  in. 
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Catalogue Note

The work depicts the ghosts of the Taira family exacting revenge upon Minamoto Yoshitsune (1159-1189). Following their brutal defeat during a historic battle at Daimotsu bay. The ghosts of the Taira clan are silhouetted against a dark sky as they attack Yoshitsune's ship and the troops can be seen lowering the boat's sails as the gigantic waves rise up. The noh play Funa Benkei [Benkei in the Boat] recounts this episode, which eventually ends well for Yoshitsune and his men due to Yoshitsune's faithful retainer, the monk Benkei, who offers prayers to the gods of the sea, causing the angry ghosts to disappear.

This example is an earlier printing where the horns are still present on the ghosts - in later versions the horns were cut off, the reason for which is unknown.

For a similar impression in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession number JP1565, go to: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection

For two further examples of this print in the collection of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, accession numbers 11.30566A-C, 1992.568A-C, go to: https://www.mfa.org/collections/search

For further reading and additional impressions, including the first edition, see Robert Schaap, Heroes and Ghosts, (Amsterdam, 1998), p.101, and Yuriko Iwakiri and Amy Reigle Newland, Kuniyoshi: Japanese Master of Imagined Worlds, (Leiden, 2013), p.61

Fine Japanese Art

|
London