• Arts of the Samurai  auction at Christies

    Sale 2378

    Arts of the Samurai

    23 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 15

    Anonymous (17th-18th century)

    Nasu no Yoichi, scene from Tale of the Heike

    Price Realised  


    Anonymous (17th-18th century)
    Nasu no Yoichi, scene from Tale of the Heike
    Six-panel screeen; ink, color and gold leaf on paper
    60 x 140 1/8in. (152.4 x 356cm)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    This famous scene of virtuoso archery comes from chapter 11 of the thirteenth-century epic Tale of the Heike. In 1185, a contingent of the Minamoto (or Genji) clan, under the leadership of Yoshitsune, pursue the Taira (or Heike) to Yashima on the shore of Shikoku in the Inland Sea. The Minamoto drive the Taira out to sea. At dusk, a Taira boat rows close to shore and a beautiful young lady emerges from the cabin. She erects a pole with a fan attached to the top and beckons to the men on shore, enticing them to use the fan for target practice. The real intent is to lure the Taira close enough to shoot them. The Minamoto select Nasu no Yoichi, noted for his accuracy. Yoichi rides some thirty-five feet into the sea and launches a shaft that travels unerringly to its mark. Warriors on both sides applaud his achievement.

    Pre-Lot Text