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

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Minamoto no Yorimasa and Ii no Hayata slay the nue, while Ayame no Mae looks on

  • Description

    The Emperor Konoe (1139-1155) had become ill due to a strange presence heralded by a black cloud over the palace. The warrior Minamoto no Yorimasa was sent to investigate it and discovered a peculiar creature, called a nue. Here he stands on the right dressed in court robes having wounded the nue with an arrow. He holds a torch so that Ii no Hayata, in armour, can dispatch it. On a veranda is the court lady Ayame no Mae, whose hand in marriage Minamoto no Yorimasa will earn from the Emperor for ridding the capital of this mysterious menace. This story is also depicted on the netsuke EA2001.114.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of publication)
    published 1847 - 1848
    Utagawa Kunisada (1823-1880) (designer)
    Associated people
    Yamaguchi Tōbei (active c. 1805 - 1895) (publisher)
    Ayame no Mae (active 12th century) (subject)
    Ii no Hayata (active Late Heian Period (AD 901 - 1185)) (subject)
    Minamoto no Yorimasa (1106 - 1180) (subject)
    Material and technique
    nishiki-e (multi-block) woodblock print
    sheet 39.5 x 27 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented by Christ Church College, University of Oxford, 1983.
    Accession no.

Glossary (3)

netsuke, nishiki-e, nue

  • netsuke

    The netsuke is a form of toggle that was used to secure personal items suspended on cords from the kimono sash. These items included purses, medicine cases or tobacco paraphernalia.

  • nishiki-e

    Nishiki-e literally means 'brocade pictures' and refers to multi-coloured woodblock prints.

  • nue

    An imaginary creature with a monkey’s head, badger’s body, paws of a tiger, a snake for a tail and with the voice of a golden mountain thrush (toratsugumi).


    • currently in research collection

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