Yoshitoshi: Swordplay in Mud
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Swordplay in Mud
Series: Heroes of the Five Elements (Eiyû gogyô no uchi)
Akashi Gidayu is pursued through mud as he runs to Kyoto at the Battle of Amagasaki. This is the “Tsuchi” (earth) element of this series of the five elements. As he runs forward he fends off the pursuers at his heels, so his form is very dynamic as he sprints barefoot through the mud. A samurai bearing a naginata races over an earthen bridge towards the action in the foreground. Akashi Gidayu feels vulnerable to the viewer as he wears no armor or even footwear. Although the faces of the men here are in the style of Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi already has a very sophisticated mastery of design and pictorial storytelling.
Condition: Excellent impression and color; very good condition. Folds at 1 cm from left of each sheet.
Dimensions: Triptych 36.3 x 73.5 cm
Literature: Keyes 196.1.
Signature: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu