Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Shirafuji Hikoshichirō (白藤彦七郎) from the A Hundred Stories of Military Valour (Buyū hyaku den - 武勇百傳)

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Dates: circa 1836,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.25 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Fujiokaya Hikatarō
(Marks 062 - seal 22-014)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: British Museum; Waseda University; Image from a Shinto festival at Morioka; British Museum - a different, later Kuniyoshi print, but of the same subject; Art and Design Library, Edinburgh ;

Physical description:

The Edinburgh Library says of this print:

The samurai Hatakeyama Shigetada (1164-1205) carrying his horse on his back; a temple is depicted in the background. Legend has it that in 1184 Shigetada and Yoshitsune attacked the undefended side of the castle of Ichinotani. Whilst descending the steep slope of Hiyodorigoe, Shigetada's horse was injured and in order to avoid defeat and dishonour, he carried the animal on his back, before successfuly staging a surprise attack.
The also noted: "Shigetada fought in the Genpei War, originally on the side of the Taira (Heike) clan before switching his allegiance to the Minamoto (Genji) clan who triumphed at the decisive Battle of Dan no Ura in 1185."


The British Museum web site describes this print as: "Shirafuji Hikoshichiro lifting a struggling white horse onto his shoulders; Ashikaga Takauji about to enter Fukkaiji Temple in the background."

Illustrated in Ukiyo-e dai musha-e ten - 浮世絵大武者絵展 - (The Samurai World in Ukiyo-e), edited by Yuriko Iwakiri, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2003, #42, p. 174.


In Heroes of the Grand Pacification: Kuniyoshi's Taiheiki Eiyū Den it says "The print of Shirafuji Hikoshichirō lifting a horse onto his shoulders as he pursues Ashikaga Takauji alludes to the surprise attack on Hideyoshi by Shiōden Masataka..."