Yoshitoshi 芳年: Saigo Takamori Composing a Poem as Kirino is Treated by A Doctor (Sold)
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: “Saigō and Kirino compose poems in the sunshine of the peak of the Takachiho region.” Hinata no kuni Takachiho no mine ni Takamori Kirino to dōi no shika o ginzuru zu. 日向 之 國 髙千穂 の 峯 に? 隆盛 桐野 と 同意 の 詩歌 を 吟ずる 圖 (国) (高千穂).
Date: 1877, 10th month, 3rd day
Saigo Takamori is seated center in his western-style uniform and seated on a western-style, thronelike chair. He composes a poem (or letter), and is surrounded by his men and an elder advisor who is seated at right and holds a western-style goblet of drink. To the left is a very stoic Kirino, his bandaged arm being attended to by what seems to be a physician, scalpel in hand. Behind them are western-style vases, and beneath their feet is a western-style carpet or flooring. It is well known that Yoshitoshi was very sympathetic to Saigo Takamori, who led the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877 against the Meiji government, the same government that he had helped to install a few years earlier. Saigo was considered a hero of the samurai class, as he objected to their loss of stature following the Meiji restoration. Kirino Toshiaki also fought for the Imperial Army until he joined forces with Saigo Takamuri in the march northward to Kumamoto. Kirino remained with Takamori until the end, when he was killed at the conclusion of the rebellion. The two were buried together among others at the Nanshu Cemetary in Kagoshima. Kirino’s wife Hisa was a skilled martial artist who led the women’s auxiliary troops during the uprising, and she survived into the 20th century. This must be a somewhat scarce design, as no other complete examples could be found. The title given by Keyes is thus: "Saigō and Kirino compose poems on Takachiho Peak”, so Keyes may not have actually seen an example of this work in person. Only Saigo seems to be composing a poem, and an attendant kneels next to him holding the writing set. The black areas of the composition have been burnished to create the lacquer-imitating sheen.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Unbacked and untrimmed.
Dimensions: ôban triptych 36.7 x 75 cm
Literature: Keyes 1983, number 391$.
Signature: Oju Taiso Yoshitoshi hitsu