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Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Kuniyoshi’s Heroes of China and Japan

A catalogue of the Ashmolean’s collection of warriors by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) by Oliver Impey and Mitsuko Watanabe (published Oxford, 2003).

Kuniyoshi’s Heroes of China and Japan by Oliver Impey and Mitsuko Watanabe

Publications online: 20 objects

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The warrior Sasai Ukon Masanao waiting for his ship

  • Literature notes

    Sakai Masahisa, ?-1570, (here Sasai Ukon Masanao) was the father of 'Sasai Kyūzō Masayasu' (see No.15) [EA1971.59], and was a faithful vassal of the Oda family. When Oda Nobunaga had confronted Asai Nagamasa (1545-1573) and Asakura Yoshikage (1533-1573) at the bottom of the Mount Hiei in 1570, Masahisa was sent to Kenta, where the food for Asakura's army sent from Echizen was on the seashore. Masanao gained support from local men such as 'Baba Magojirō' in order to guide him, secretly gathering his men and ships in order to steal the supplies. During the night, Masanao ordered his men to shout their war-cry, causing Asakura's guards to run away from the shore. Masanao then put the food into his ships which he himself was supposed to take back to Nobunaga's camp. While Masanao was waiting for the next ship to take him and his men back, Asakura's guards informed their lord what Masanao had done. Masanao and his men were finally killed by Asai's and Asakura's armies.

    This print shows 'Masanao' standing on a huge tree trunk and waiting for his ship before the final attack and his death.
  • Details

    Series
    Tales of Heroes of the Chronicles of the Great Peace
    Associated place
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of publication)
    Date
    1847 - 1850
    Artist/maker
    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) (designer)
    Ryūkatei Tanekazu (1804 - 1858) (author)
    Associated people
    Yamamotoya Heikichi (active early 19th century - 1886) (publisher)
    Sakai Ukon Masahisa (died 1570) (subject)
    Murata Heiemon (active 1843 - 1853) (censor)
    Mera Ta’ichirō (active c. 1848 - 1853) (censor)
    Material and technique
    woodblock
    Dimensions
    mount 55.4 x 40.3 cm (height x width)
    sheet 36.2 x 25 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    1
    Credit line
    Presented by George Grigs, Miss Elizabeth Grigs, and Miss Susan Messer, in memory of Derick Grigs, 1971.
    Accession no.
    EA1971.60
  • Further reading

    Impey, Oliver, and Mitsuko Watanabe, Kuniyoshi's Heroes of China and Japan: A Selection of Warriors from Two Series of Prints and a Painting by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798 - 1861), the Suikoden of 1827 and the Taiheki of 1848-9 (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2003), no. 14 on p. 11, illus. p. 26 pl. 14

    London: Royal Academy of Arts, 21 March-7 June 2009, and New York: Japan Society, 12 March-13 June 2012, Kuniyoshi: From the Arthur R. Miller Collection, Timothy Clark. ed. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2009), no. 39, p. 106, illus. p. 106

Location

    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.

 

Publications online

  • Kuniyoshi’s Heroes of China and Japan by Oliver Impey and Mitsuko Watanabe

    Kuniyoshi’s Heroes of China and Japan

    Sakai Masahisa, ?-1570, (here Sasai Ukon Masanao) was the father of 'Sasai Kyūzō Masayasu' (see No.15) [EA1971.59], and was a faithful vassal of the Oda family. When Oda Nobunaga had confronted Asai Nagamasa (1545-1573) and Asakura Yoshikage (1533-1573) at the bottom of the Mount Hiei in 1570, Masahisa was sent to Kenta, where the food for Asakura's army sent from Echizen was on the seashore. Masanao gained support from local men such as 'Baba Magojirō' in order to guide him, secretly gathering his men and ships in order to steal the supplies. During the night, Masanao ordered his men to shout their war-cry, causing Asakura's guards to run away from the shore. Masanao then put the food into his ships which he himself was supposed to take back to Nobunaga's camp. While Masanao was waiting for the next ship to take him and his men back, Asakura's guards informed their lord what Masanao had done. Masanao and his men were finally killed by Asai's and Asakura's armies.

    This print shows 'Masanao' standing on a huge tree trunk and waiting for his ship before the final attack and his death.
Notice

Object information may not accurately reflect the actual contents of the original publication, since our online objects contain current information held in our collections database. Click on 'buy this publication' to purchase printed versions of our online publications, where available, or contact the Jameel Study Centre to arrange access to books on our collections that are now out of print.

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