Yoshitoshi 芳年: The moon of Yamaki mansion--Kagekado 山木館の月 景廉 (SOLD)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: The moon of Yamaki mansion--Kagekado  山木館の月 景廉
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1885

Here we see the first attack of the Minamoto family’s long campaign against the Taira family in the 12th century. Yoritomo, leader of the Minamoto clan, has sent his retainer Kato Kagekado to the Taira family mansion with orders to kill his sworn enemy, Taira no Kanetaka. This famous story was told in the “Heike monogatari”, the 13th C. account of these exploits that Yoshitoshi’s audience would have been familiar with. In this scene, Kagekado dangles his helmet on his spear in front of the sliding door, causing the Taira leader to strike at it and lose his balance. Kagekado then took his life and went to inform Yoritomo Minamoto, the leader who  became shogun in 1185 after defeating the Taira clan five years after this attack. The wooden panel in the background has been created with the imitation woodgrain (itame mokuhan) effect, where a woodblock’s natural grain is emphasized through soaking in water. An early impression that is beautifully printed, there is also the lacquer-imitating effect that has been given to all of the black areas of the print. 

Condition: Excellent impression and color. 
Dimensions: ôban (35.6 x 24 cm)
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: Stevenson #27. See British Museum online collection.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi