• Arts of the Samurai  auction at Christies

    Sale 2378

    Arts of the Samurai

    23 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 9

    Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867)

    Poem in Chinese

    Price Realised  


    Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867)
    Poem in Chinese
    Signed ...Gessho Higashiyama Ryoma Sakamoto sho, sealed Sakamoto uji Ryoma aza... and another seal
    Hanging scroll; ink on paper
    69¼ x 18¼in. (176 x 46.5cm.)

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    Sakamoto was from a rural samurai family in the Tosa domain (now Kochi Prefecture) and had an aptitude for swordsmanship. After the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853, he was swept up in imperial loyalism and extremism, becoming a masterless samurai (ronin) in opposition to the Tokugawa shogunate. A hero to many causes, he was murdered at a Kyoto inn in the prime of life by thugs hired by the shogunate to maintain public order. Gessho (1813-1858), whose name is also inscribed on the scroll, was a Buddhist monk at Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto, also an imperialist and exclusionist at the end of the Edo period.

    Pre-Lot Text