Yoshitoshi 芳年: Uesugi Kenshin Before Battle (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) 芳年
Title: "Frost fills the camp and the autumn air is still; lines of returning geese cross the moon of the third hour – Kenshin" 霜満軍営秋気清 数行過雁月三更 謙信
Series: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon 月百姿
Date: 1888

The famous general Uesugi no Kenshin is seated on a camp stool, brush and paper in hand, admiring the geese flying in formation next to the full moon. He sits beside a fabric windbreak during one of his military campaigns, the tidily arranged foods sitting untouched at his feet as he composes a poem. Kenshin and his rival Takeda Shingen are two of the most famous martial rivals in Japanese history. They met in battle every summer from 1553 to 1557 and also in 1563, although there was apparently more maneuvering than actual fighting. Kenshin here wears full samurai battle armor, except that instead of a helmet he wears the headdress of a priest, as he had taken priestly vows in 1552, (not an uncommon occurrence). With beautiful blindprinted (embossed) patterns on the headdress as well as on the white cartouche. The poem is written in the square cartouche above.

Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good condition. With backing.
Dimensions: ôban 35.6 x 24 cm
Publisher: Akiyama Takeuemon
Literature: John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon (San Francisco: San Francisco Graphic Society, 1992), number 82. See British Museum, Portland Art Museum.
Seal: Taiso
Signature: Yoshitoshi