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

Print: Yan warrior Zhang Fei [張飛] conquered Tsao Tsao’s military in Chang Po Qiao

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Dates: created,circa 1822 - 1826
Dimensions: 10.25 in,13.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

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

Related links: Hagi Uragami Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - a similar representation by Kuniyoshi from ca. 1836;

Physical description:

The belligerant figure of the mounted warrior Chōhi (aka Zhang Fei), armed with his formidable spear, warding off the enemy hordes on Chohan Bridge. Chōhi a warrior hero of The Wars of the Three Kingdoms in the early third century. One of Kunisada's rarest early musha-e designs.


A description of Zhang Fei

"The story goes that there was a man named Zhang Fei, also known as Yide, who hailed from Fanyang in Zhuo Prefecture, in the princedom of Yan. From birth he had the head of a panther and round eyes, the jowls of a swallow, and the whiskers of a tiger; his body was more than nine feet tall, and his voice resounded like a huge bell. He came from a very rich family. Because he was idly standing outside, he saw Lord Guan pass through the streets: his physique was extraordinary, but his clothes were in tatters—he was not a local man. So he stepped forward and greeted Lord Guan with a bow, which the latter returned."

Quoted from: Records of the Three Kingdoms in Plain Language, p. 14.