Yoshitoshi 芳年: Takeda Katsuchi Killing an Old Badger in the Moonlight 武田勝千代月夜に老狸を撃乃図

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Takeda Katsuchiyo Killing an Old Badger in the Moonlight 武田勝千代月夜に老狸を撃乃図
Series: New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts  新形三十六怪撰
Date: 1889

Takeda Katsuchiyo, the young Takeda Shingen, has just struck his saddle horse with such fury that the badger who was playing a trick on him has paid the ultimate price. Apparently one night when the young Takeda was studying, his saddle-horse seemed to ask him a question; Takeda’s answer to this prank was to strike the object as hard as he could, which also exposed the mischievous badger. Takeda Shingen was one of the most famous military minds in Japanese history. He famously fought many battles with Uesugi Kenshin in the late 16th century, and later fought against Odu Nobunaga during the wars that preceded the unification of Japan. Even as a boy he was not to be trifled with, as this mischievous badger has found out. Here the saddle horse almost seems alive, as the fringed caparison and cloth reins fly in the air as if it were galloping. A dynamic composition, Yoshitoshi has still managed to focus our attention on the face of the boy and on the face of the badger. This work is untrimmed, which allows us to see the full extension of the foot of the wooden horse that extends beyond the confines of the decorative border.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Unbacked and untrimmed.
Dimensions: ôban (36.7 x 25.1 cm)
Publisher: Sasaki Toyokichi
Literature: See Stevenson’s “New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts”, page 24, no. 3. Keyes 1983, p. 488, no. 509.3; Segi 1985, p. 76, no. 94.4; van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 141, no. 65.3; Stevenson 2005, p. 88, no. 3.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi