Chinggis Khan

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Chinggis Khan

by Tokuriki Tomikichirō, c. 1950s-1960s


IHL Cat. #149

About This Print

Portrait of Ghengis Khan, after various anonymous portraits, with Mongolian script and typeset below the image.  The third character from the left reads Genghis (spelled č-i-ng-g-i-s) and the second character reads Khan (spelled q-a-γ-a-n).

This is a rarely seen print, but in November 2012 the below "trial proof" print from the Uchida Family Archives appeared on the Artelino auction site:


Chinggis Khan (c.1162-1227)

Source: British Broadcasting Corporation webside http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00773mr
Born Temujin in the 12th Century, he was cast out by his tribe when just a child and left to struggle for survival on the harsh Steppes of what is now Mongolia. From these beginnings he went on to become Genghis Khan, leader of the greatest continuous land-based empire the world has ever seen. His conquered territories stretched from the Caspian Sea to the borders of Manchuria, from the Siberian forest to what is now Afghanistan.

He was a charismatic commander and a shrewd military tactician. He was swift to promote those who served him well, ignoring race or creed, but vengeful to those who crossed him, killing every inhabitant of resistant towns, even the cats and dogs. Generally regarded as barbarians by their enemies, the Mongol armies were in fact disciplined and effective.

A 14th-century portrait of Genghis Khan

Source: Houston Museum of Natural Science http://www.hmns.org/exhibits/special_exhibits/genghis_khan/genghis_facts.asp
Despite the many images and pictures of Genghis Khan made in subsequent years, we have no portrait of him made within his lifetime. Unlike any other conqueror in history, Genghis Khan never allowed anyone to paint his portrait, sculpt his image, or engrave his name or likeness on a coin. In the words of a modern Mongolian song about Genghis Khan, “we imagined your appearance but our minds were blank.”

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #149
 Title  Portrait of Chinggis Kahn
 Series
 Artist
 Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000)
 Signature
 Tokuriki Tomikichirō in kanji lower left of image
 Seal  square seal
 Date  c. 1930 - 40s
 Edition  unknown
 Publisher  Uchida
 Printer  
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - one pin-size hole in image, some wrinkling of margins, small tare upper left top margin, some foxing, light wear, otherwise good state
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous  embossed decorative border around image
 Format  dai oban
 H x W Paper  15 7/8 12 3/8 in. (40.3 x 31.4 cm)
 H x W Image  13 5/8 x 9 in. (24.6 x 22.9 cm) including embossed borders and bottom script
 Collections This Print  The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (M00099-017)
 Reference Literature  

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