Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: The Killing of Ten (Jūban kiri - 十番切): Soga Gorō Tokimune (曽我五郎時宗)
and Gosho no Gorōmaru Shigemune (御所五郎丸重宗)

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Dates: circa 1820,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
Publisher: Kawaguchiya Uhei
(Marks 232 - 21-142)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ; Indianapolis Museum of Art - another early Kunisada on the theme of killing the ten retainers; Art Institute of Chicago - pdf file on James Ensor print partially inspired by prints by Kunisada like this one - click on fig. 15 at the end of the article;

Physical description:

This is a scene in the tale of revenge of the Soga brothers who waited 18 years before killing Kudō Suketsune, the man responsible for the death of their father. The jūban of the title refers to the 10 men loyal to Suketsune that the Soga brothers slew.


There is also another copy of this print in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden.


There is a file online from the Art Institute of Chicago analyzing the imagery in a James Ensor (Belgian, 1860-1949) print of the Temptation of St. Anthony. It cites the battle scenes of Kunisada, and this print in particular, as one of the points of inspiration for this composition. We have added a link to that file above.