Minamoto no Yoshiie (源義家), in pursuit of Abe no Sadato (安倍貞任) who had been forced to flee his castle, shouted: «Sir, you show your back to your enemy! Aren’t you ashamed? Turn around a minute, I have something to tell you». When Sadato turned around, Yoshiie said: «The warps of your robe have come undone [= Koromo Castle has been destroyed]» (衣のたてはほころびにけり). Sadato relaxed his reins somewhat and, turning his head, replied: «Over the years its threads became tangled, and this pains me» (としを経し糸の乱れのくるしさに). Hearing this, Yoshiie put away the arrow he had readied to shoot, and returned to his camp.
The polychrome woodblock print presented here, depicting the famous poetic exchange between the two generals, was made in May 1882 by the artist Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延), is entitled “Hachimantaro Yoshiie and Abe no Sadato” (八幡太郎義家 安倍貞任) and is taken from the series “Models of Our Country’s Valor” (本朝武勇鑑).
The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the publisher Tsunajima Kamekichi (綱島亀吉), despite the right signs of aging and the gluing residues visible on the back, is in very good general condition.