Shûgetsu Bosai : Princess Kokonoe and Ogre

Shûgetsu (Arai Seisaburô) active 1880's

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Artist: Shûgetsu Bosai (active ca. 1878-1888)
Title:  Princess Kokonoe and Ogre
Date: 1885 (Meiji 18) 

Legend of Brave Warriors of the Amako Clan (Amako buyú-den). The title refers to the Legend of the Ten Brave Warriors of the Amako Clan in Izumo Province. Here Shugetsu depicts a night scene in a dilapidated temple on a remote mountain where Princess Kokonoe was scared by a monstrous animal apparition who appeared in monk attire. The text by Yanagi-tei Tanehiko describes the scene roughly as follows: "In a deep fall mist, the light is dim, the darkness outside filled with the scream of a monkey which nearly causes an acute pain in the belly and the hooting of an owl. The utterly ruinous temple is enclosed in the deep woods and covered with ivy. The black dragon on the ceiling opens its big mouth as if it will disgorge a bat. The corridor is rotten and moss-grown, on which the footprints of a fox and badger are marked. The number of glaring eyes of monstrous apparitions brings to mind the glare of the moon. The ten brave warriors in the Sarashina Soshi Amako gathered in Izumo and fought the enemy in the neighbouring province, bringing victory for (Amako) Katsuhisa. Bosai composes anew this scene written by (Kuritsuetei) Kiran, which conveys a more mysterious atmosphere.“

In terms of how this scene fits in the story, this might be the scene where Princess Kokonoe, wife of Yamanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori (1545?-1578) was caught in a room which she thought was an inn at the border of Tanba Province (present Hyogo Pref.). It turned out that this instead was the house belonging to Tanba Taro who trapped women for human trafficking.

Yamanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori was the leading figure of the Ten and served Amako Yoshihisa. As Yoshihisa was defeated by the Mori clan in 1566, Shikanosuke later served Amako Katsuhisa in order to re-establish the defeated Amako clan in 1577. This legend of the Sengogu Period (ca. 1467-1568/73) was told for centuries but “intoku taihei-ki“* a war chronicle, was published in 1712 and the subject was taken up by such authors as Kyoku-tei Bakin (1767-1848) now as yomihon, a book for common people. "Ehon sarashina soshi Amako“ by Kuritsue-tei Kiran was published in 1811. The subject was also taken up by Kabuki as one of Kunichika’s prints shows.

The names of the Ten Brave Warriors, who served for the re-establishment of the Amako clan, however, differs according to the publications of the time, but among them Yamanaka Shikanosuke is identified as existing. The Ten Brave Warriors in the story as follows: Yamanaka Shikanosuke, Shútaku An-no-suke, Yokomichi Hyógo-no-suke, Hayakawa Ayu-no-suke, Yú?michi Ri-no-suke, Teramoto Seishi-no-suke, Ueda Wase-no-suke, Fukada Doro-no-suke, Yabunaka Kei-no-suke, and Ogura Nezumi-no-suke. Since they all have the endings “suke“, they are also called the Ten Sukes.

*the dissertation by Tanaka Norio, the Shimane University

Condition: Very good impression and colors. Sheets are attached and backed.
Dimensions: ôban triptych

SKU: SHG003


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