Kuniyoshi: The Battle of Shizu-ga-mine with Severed Heads

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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
Title: The Battle of Shizu-ga-mine (Shizu-ga-mine kassen no zu)

The Battle of Shizu-ga-mine, which took place in 1583, where Hideyoshi defeated Shibata Katsuie. In the center  is Kato Kiyomasa in his distinctive helmet, a long spear in his hand. His standard is very elaborate, with a golden array of palm fronds. Behind him his men carry bamboo poles that are strung with the decapitated heads of their enemies. Several men even carry heads with them as they rush forward into battle. The standard worn by the warrior at left has a pole that resembles a spine, upon which two skulls are surmounted. This battle took place in the very violent period before the unification of Japan in about 1600. Collecting the heads of slain enemies proved the count of men killed in battle, and would also affect the amount of funds paid to the samurai.

Condition: Very good impression and color; good   condition. Backed, with some soiling and trimming to rightmost sheet. 
Dimensions: ôban triptych (36 x 75 cm)
Publisher: Yamamoto Heikichi
Literature: “Kuniyoshi: The Warrior Prints” by BW Robinson, number T205.
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga with his paulownia seal. With an unidentified Japanese collector's seal in the lower corner of each sheet.