KUMAGAI JIRO NAOZANE (Utagawa Yoshikazu)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1848 ca.
Condition: signs of aging
Size: 22 x 34 cm



Kumagai Jiro Naozane (熊谷次郎直実) was a famous warrior who served the Genji (源氏) clan. Kumagai is particularly known for his exploits during the Genpei War (源平合戦), specifically for killing the young samurai Taira no Atsumori (平敦盛) at the battle of Ichi-no-Tani (一ノ谷) in 1184.

Here we see him depicted, probably on the beach at Suma (須磨), in a woodblock print made around 1848 by the artist Utagawa Yoshikazu (歌川芳員). The work is signed “Ichijusai Yoshikazu ga” (一寿斎芳員画) and bears the seals of the censors Mera (米良) and Murata (村田).

The rare print on Japanese washi paper (和紙) has evident signs of aging, in particular a showy aging of the paper and some holes.