- Museum number
Colour woodblock print, left sheet of diptych. Night attack by brigands lead by Kumasaka Chohan on Ushiwaka-maru's party: Musashi-bo Benkei crushing thief; dressed as Buddhist monk with 'horiri' (treasure circle) patterned robe and carrying seven weapons on his back. Signed.
- Production date
- 1786-1788 (c.)
Height: 32.30 centimetres
Width: 22 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Asano and Clark 1995
Kumasaka Chohan was the leader of a band of brigands who feature in tales surrounding Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-1189). They attacked Ushiwaka-maru (the adolescent name of Yoshitsune) and his companion Kaneuri Kichiji at the highway town of Akasaka, when the two were en route to the distant Mutsu Province in the north, but ended up being routed by the two heroes. As in the present example, the legend became a subject for Ukiyo-e warrior prints. The young warrior with page-boy bangs leaping through the air in the right print is Ushiwaka-maru and the figure below him wielding the long sword, Kumasaka Chohan.
On the right [sic. left] sheet is a figure dressed as a monk who is crushing a thief trying to steal some clothes. From the seven weapons carried on his back and the "treasure circle" (horiri) pattern on his monk's robe, this must be Musashi-bo Benkei. Ushiwaka-maru was attacked by Kumasaka Chohan during his first trip to Mutsu province, before he had met Benkei, who is therefore not normally part of this story. But perhaps Utamaro took it upon himself [t]o add in this extra figure to provide added complexity to the composition.
Shibui, Kiyoshi 渋井清, 'Ukiyo-e zuten, vol. 13: Utamaro' 「ウキヨエ図典13 歌麿」, Kazama Shobo, Tokyo, 1964, pls. 8-3-3, 8-3-4.
"Kitagawa Utamaro sakuhin mokuroku" 「喜多川歌麿作品目録」, 'Ukiyo-e shuka', 「浮世絵聚花」, vol. 3 (Bosuton Bijutsukan III ボストン美術館３), Shogakkan, Tokyo, 1978, pp. 235-254, pl. 774.
Tokyo National Museum 東京国立博物館 (complete diptych).
Nakau Ei Collection 中右瑛氏蔵 (right sheet).
[Main text translated in Japanese below / 以下上記本文日本語訳]
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Registration number