(Japan 1838 – 1912)
35.2 x 24.3 cm image; 37.1 x 25.3 cm sheet
Produced in the mid to late 19th century, the period often referred to as the 'decadent' period of ukiyo-e; the subject matter reflect the feeling of unrest in Japan when the Shogunate Government was losing its grip on the rising powers of merchants & progressive regions. The subtlety of the pleasure seeking 'floating world' of earlier times gave way to depictions of emotional drama or violence taken from historical battles, stories of heroic deeds & the kabuki theatre.
Text inscription in work: 'Satô Shirô Hyôe Tadanobu put on (his master Yoshitsune's) sword and armour, and took on the scores of approaching temple soldiers of Yoshino. He ran up the five-story pagoda and jumped off at the back of the pagoda. One Rokusen of Yokokawa, a soldier monk reknowned for his strength, also jumped off and chased him. Tadanobu fought Rokusen, killed him, then followed his master to the Capital.'
AJIOKA Chiaki (Curator), Heroes and villains: from Japan's floating world, Sydney, May 2001, 6 (colour illus.). cat.no. 1.6
Heroes and Villains, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 May 2001–19 Aug 2001