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UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)
PROPERTY FROM THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS, SOLD TO SUPPORT ART ACQUISITIONS AND COLLECTIONS CARE
UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

Sanuki no in kenzoku o shite Tametomo o sukuu zu (Picture of retired Emperor Sanuki sending allies [tengu] to rescue Tametomo)

Details
UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)
Sanuki no in kenzoku o shite Tametomo o sukuu zu (Picture of retired Emperor Sanuki sending allies [tengu] to rescue Tametomo)
Woodblock print, triptych, each sheet signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga, published by Sumiyoshiya Masagoro, circa 1851-52
Vertical oban triptych: 13 7/8 x 9 ¾ in. (35.2 x 24.8 cm.) each approx.
(3)
Provenance
Raymond A. Bidwell (1876-1954), Springfield, Massachusetts
Exhibited
“Ukiyo-e from The Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA”, exh. cat. p. 92, no. 23, exhibited at the following venues:
Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo, 4 June-3 July, 1994
Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, 16 July-21 August, 1994
Yokkaichi Municipal Museum, Mie Prefecture, 1 September-4 October, 1994

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Lot Essay

The warrior Minamoto (Genji) no Tametomo (1139-70) was defeated in the Hogen rebellion (1156) fought between the factions of the retired Emperor Sutoku and Emperor Go-Shirakawa. As a result he was exiled to Izu, Oshima, but then escaped to Kyushu and formulated a plan to vanquish the Taira (Heike) clan. As part of this plan he set sail to Kyoto, but during the journey encountered a storm and was shipwrecked. He was then rescued by the retired Emperor Sutoku's descendants and makes it ashore on the Ryukyu Islands.
In this work, Kuniyoshi has ingeniously combined three episodes from the same story onto one triptych. On the left sheet is Tametomo adrift in his boat surrounded by descendants of retired Emperor Sutoku who appear as tengu (mythical creatures in the form of half bird, half man), who have come to rescue him. The center sheet shows Kiheiji, Tametomo's retainer, with Tametomo's son in his arms, on the back of a giant crocodile-shark. At first the creature tried to kill them, but was pacified and rescued them from drowning. On the right sheet, Tametomo's wife, Princess Shiranui, in an unsuccessful attempt to calm the storm has thrown herself into the waves as a sacrifice.

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