Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Fight to the Death of Heroic Samurai of the Kusunoki Clan at Shijō Nawate
(Kusunoki-ke yushi Shijō Nawate nite uchijini - 楠家勇士四條縄手にて討死)

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Dates: 1851,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Fujiokaya Keijirō (Marks 063 - seal 21-026)
Censors' seals: Mera and Watanabe

Related links: British Museum; Google maps - Shijōnawate Ward near Osaka - highlighted in red;

Physical description:

'Nanke yushi Shijo-nawate nite uchijine'. The Last Stand of the Kusunoke at Shijo-nawate. Masahara, Masatomo, Katahide in hail of arrows; with corpse, standard, two severed heads. Kuniyoshi's most celebrated battle triptych, illustrated full page in Robinson, The Warrior Prints, plate 59.


"According to the Taihei-ki (Chronicle of th Great Peace). on 5th January, 1348, during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, General Kusunoki Masatsura led 3,000 troops from the Southrn Court in battle against 60,000 Northern Court soldiers at Shijō-nawate in Kawachi Province. Vastly outnumbered, the Southern Court had no chance of winning, and in the end Mastsura and his brother Masatoki killed each other while their soldiers fought to the death." Quoted from the English Supplement Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections 5, Victoria and Albert II, pp. 3-4.

The center panel is illustrated in black and white in Japanese Colour Prints by Laurence Binyon and J.J. O'Brien Sexton, 1923, plate XLV.