Takeda Katsuchiyomaru

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1798-1861)
Publisher: Kawaguchiya Uhei (Fukusendō) 川口屋卯兵衛 (Japanese)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1825-30
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 39 x 26.3 cm (15 3/8 x 10 3/8 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hero, Japan, portrait, tanuki, ukiyo-e, warrior
Provenance research underway.

The young hero Takeda Katsuchiyomaru became the warrior Takeda Shingen (1521-1573), one of the most powerful leaders in the battles for control of Japan during the late sixteenth century. Here he battles a tanuki, a badgerlike creature with supernatural powers who had possessed a wooden toy horse. Kuniyoshi probably referred to a book published in 1808, Ehon koetsu gunki, for an account of Shingen's life. This print shows the early development of the dynamic style that made Kuniyoshi the premier warrior print designer from the late 1720s to the end of his career. He employs strong diagonals and forward movement in the picture plane to energize his compositions. Kuniyoshi's figures also reveal his familiarity with European techniques such as foreshortening, perspective, and chiaroscuro, which he and other artists learned from the books and pictures imported to Japan through Dutch trade at Nagasaki.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 70, pp. 192-193.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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