IWANARI TOMOMICHI (Utagawa Yoshiiku)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1867
Condition: very good
Size: 18,5 x 25 cm



Beautiful woodblock print of the musha-e (武者絵) type, taken from the series “Legends of the Heroes of Taiheiki” (太平記英勇傳) by the artist Utagawa Yoshiiku (歌川芳幾). The work is dedicated to Iwanari Chikaranosuke Sukemichi (岩成主税助左道), the 16th century samurai more commonly known as Iwanari Tomomichi (岩成友通). A retainer of the Miyoshi clan (三好氏), Iwanari is remembered for leading an uprising against the forces of Oda Nobunaga (織田信長) during which, however, he met his death in battle at the hands of Hosokawa Fujitaka (細川藤孝).

Taiheiki (太平記), the “chronicle of the great peace”, is a literary work of the fourteenth century attributed to the monk Kojima (小島法師) which narrates the intrigues and political struggles that, between 1318 and 1367, divided Japan for succession to the empire. In the title of the series presented here, in Japanese “Taiheiki Eiyuden”, the word “Taiheiki” was used in order to avoid the censorship of the government by simulating a reference to facts from a remote past but, instead, were described the protagonists of the civil wars of the 16th century.

The print, produced in 1867 by the publisher Hirookaya Kosuke (広岡屋幸助), despite the right signs of aging, is in overall very good condition.