Yoshitoshi 芳年 : Battle of Ichinotani 一ノ谷の戦い (Sold)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Title: Battle of Ichinotani  一ノ谷の戦い

Date: 1885

From the “Tale of Heike”, we see the sixteen-year-old Taira no Atsumori in the distance, swimming at sea on his horse. The retreating Taira forces had been driven into the sea by the enemy, and he arrived too late to board a boat.  Our perspective is from that of the Genji warrior Kumagai Naozane, who raises his flag in challenge to the young man in the distance. The plovers rise up in a curving line, and his battle cape flows with the wind. His own garment contains a plover pattern, so the nonstop movement is continued with the flying plovers and their swerving, diagonal ascent. When Atsumori returned to the shore to fight, Naozane felt some guilt to fight a man as young as his own son, but he had no choice but to follow through. The Battle of Ichinotani took place in 1184, which Minamoto no Yoshitsune led and won. It was woven into the Tale of the Heike. Yoshitoshi was a genius at utilizing this vertical format to its strongest advantage. 

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban vertical diptych (75.4 x 25.6 cm)
Publisher: Matsui Eikichi
Literature: See “Beauty & Violence” figure 58, page 138. See also “The Splendid Decadent, figure 39 page 139.
Seal: Yoshitoshi no in
Signature: Ôju Yoshitoshi ga