Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国) (artist 1786 – 01/12/1865)

Minamoto Yoritomo's hunting party in the foothills below Mt. Fuji - Minamoto Yoritomo kō Fuji no susono makigari no zu (源頼朝公富士之裾野牧狩之図)

Print


ca 1814
31.5 in x 15.5 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
五渡亭国貞画
Publisher: Yamamotoya Heikichi
Marks 595 - seal 04-007
Censor seal: kiwame
Waseda University Library
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - 19th c. tsuba showing same encounter

"In 1193, when the great warrior Yoritomo gave a hunting party at the foot of Mount Fuji, a boar suddenly broke cover and,wounded and maddened, headed straight at the hunters, too fast to be hit with their arrows. In an instant the warrior Nitan-no-Shiro Yadatsune sprang from Yoritomo's bodyguard and, casting aside his bow and arrows, and leaping on his horse, he made straight for the boar, which turned to attack him. Like a flash Nitan leaped on the back of the beast, with his own back to the animal's head. Grasping the tail, Nitan clung to the speeding animal until he found a chance to draw his dagger and stab him to death. Thereupon, so it is said, he received an ovation "so great as to shake the surrounding hills." "

Quoted from: The Asian Animal Zodiac by Ruth Q. Sun.

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Yoritomo appears on the back of a dappled horse in the right-hand panel. He is protected by both a crowd of warriors, but also by the large yellow umbrella. In the middle panel Nitan-no-Shirō Yadatsune is about to take on the boar.

If you use the enlarging tool you will see that in the middle ground of center and left-hand panels there is a fenced off field that is used as a hunting arena where archers are going after deer, foxes and other animals.

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Yoritomo's sasarindō crest appears prominently on the war curtains and the banners of his encampment seen in the center panel in the middle- to background.

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There is another copy of this triptych in the Worcester Museum of Art.
warrior prints (musha-e - 武者絵) (genre)
Yamamotoya Heikichi (山本屋平吉) (publisher)
Historical - Social - Ephemera (genre)
Mount Fuji (富士山) (genre)
Jūnishi (十二支 - 12 signs of the Zodiac) (genre)