- Museum number
- Object: Shinpan morokoshi kyusenzan kassen no zu 新板唐九仙山合戦之圖 (Newly published picture of Chinese battle at Nine Hermit Mountain)
Colour woodblock-printed diptych. uki-e. Chinese battle at Nine Hermit Mountain; from puppet play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon, 'Kokusenya kassen'. Inscribed and signed.
- Production date
- 1781-1788 (c.)
Height: 36.60 centimetres
Width: 51 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Toyoharu's earliest known work is an actor print of 1767. Soon after, he began designing landscapes using a Western-derived perspective system, building on attempts first made in Edo in the 1740s. It is possible that as a young man he studied in Kyoto, and so might have known the views with 'vanishing point' perspective drawn by Maruyama Okyo from about 1760. The battle of Mt. Jiuxian was known to Japanese audiences as part of a 1715 play 'The Battle of Coxinga'. Here various scenes of the campaigns of the Ming general Wu Sangui and his henchman Watonai are combined amid exotic Chinese architecture, using a European-derived spatial stucture. (Label copy, TTC 1997)
This elaborate 'ukie' ('perspective print') on a Chinese war theme may at first seem far from 'Ukiyoe' taste. However, the scene is a realisation of one of the 'Bunraku' puppet plays of Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724), most of which remained very popular through the Edo period. The signature is 'Utagawa Toyoharu Pictured This'.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2016 Jul–Oct, London, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Battle of Jiu Xian Shan
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Kokusen'ya kassen (Battles of Coxinga) (puppet play)
- Acquisition date
- Registration number