Yoshitoshi 芳年: Women Warriors With Children Rush Towards Violent Conflict in Kagoshima (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi  芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Women Warriors With Children Rush Towards  Violent Conflict in Kagoshima 鹿児嶋婦女子乱暴之図

Date: 1877

A women’s brigade during the Kagoshima rebellion prepare to engage violently in the conflict. At right women in a rush are handed bowls of food from a steaming cauldron staffed by two women at right. Only a single woman is on horseback; she seems to be pointing out the direction of the engagement.  One of the pictured women is obviously very old; she hunches over, leaning on her naginata. In a surprising touch, several women carry children on their backs, which must signify the depth of their commitment to their cause. In the background is yellowed banana-like fronded tree (hinting at the warmer climate of Kagoshima in the south of Japan), and to the left the women rush away barefoot into the night. One holds a standard that seems to say “Women’s Brigade”. It is unusual to see images of women about to engage in violence, even though historically women fought in conflicts such as the Genpei Wars (1180-1185), the Shimabara Rebellion (1637-1638), and at the Battle of Aizu (1868) during the Boshin War (1868-1869). Yoshitoshi designed another triptych in 1877 that showed the women’s brigade actually doing battle with the uniformed Imperial soldiers.

Condition: Excellent impression and color; very good condition. The left sheet is a little bit trimmed on the right and there are a few pinholes.

Dimensions: ôban triptych 38.5 x 73.6 cm
Literature: See Philadelphia Museum of Art Collection
Signature: Oju Taiso Yoshitoshi