Two Brave Men Fight on the Roof of Hōryūkaku (Hōryūkaku ryūyū ugoku)

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 月岡芳年 (1839-1892)
Publisher: Hasegawa Tsunejirō 長谷川常治郎
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, 1885
Ink and color on paper
H x W (diptych): 74.3 x 24.8 cm (29 1/4 x 9 3/4 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, battle, diptych, hero, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), oban
Provenance research underway.

Warriors prepare for hand-to-hand combat on the precariously steep roof of a castle tower. The vertical diptych format of this print dramatically enhances the steep composition. The story depicted here comes from Takizawa Bakin's (1767-1848) lengthy masterpiece, The Story of the Eight "Dogs" of the Satomi Clan (Nanso Satomi Hakkenden; published serially 1814-42). At the end of the impending conflict illustrated here, the heroes lock in struggle, lose their footing, and fall into the river far below. But, in a typical twist of the plot of Bakin's narrative, the combatants survive their fall from the rooftop, discover that they are brothers, and the story continues.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 96, pp. 248-249.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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