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Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo from the series A Mirror of Strange Tales from China and Japan

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo

from the series 

A Mirror of Strange Tales from China and Japan

by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1880


IHL Cat. #691

About This Print

One of twenty prints (chūban size) which make up the series A Mirror of Strange Tales from China and Japan (Wakan Kidan Kagami)Pictured is Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo [Minamoto No Tametomo (1139-1177)] slaying what appears to be a powerful konoha-tengu (Tumbling-leaf tengu), with its characteristic bright red human face, long bulbous nose, wild hair, and bulging eyes.1 Tametomo has cut off the tengu's head, also severing the cliff edge.  Part of the tengu's severed body can be seen beneath the scroll on the right.  

This design was derived from Yoshitoshi's teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), almost identical print created about 30 years earlier for the series Ten Famous Excellences of Tametomo (Tametomo homare no jikketsu), published by Aritaya Seiemon, c. 1848.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
untitled print from the series
Ten Famous Excellences of Tametomo (Tametomo homare no jikketsu)

Tametomo was the hero of many legends, one of which has him being stopped from committing ritual suicide while at sea by a tengu sent by Emperor Sutoku.2 

The prints in this series were originally issued as a pair of chūban size prints on an ōban size sheet as shown below.

Top: Toki no Daishiro wrestling with a guardian king.
Bottom: Chinzei Tametomo near a waterfall with a drawn sword.

1 Handbook of Japanese Mythology, Michael Ashkenazi, ABC CLIO, 2003, p. 271.

2 Reference Utagawa Kuniyoshi's (1798-1861) 1851 woodblock triptych Retired Emperor Sutoku sends his followers to rescue Tametomo.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #691
 Title
Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo 鎮西八郎源為朝

 Series  Models of Strange Stories of Japan and China (sometimes seen translated as Comparison of Strange Stories of Japan and China)
Wakan Kidan Kagami 和漢奇談鑑
 Artist
 Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
 Signature
 None on this bottom sheet.  Top sheet (see above) contained artist's signature "Yoshitoshi ga" in cartouche in left margin.
 Seal  none
 Date  1880 明治13年 (Meiji 13)
 Publisher  Kodama Matashichi 児玉 又七 Address: Tokyo Asakusa Komagatamachi 42-banchi [Marks. pub. ref. 260; seal not shown but similar to 26-135]
 Carver  
 Impression  good
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - soiling throughoutvertical center fold almost splitting paper, wrinkling and soiling
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous  Keyes #435
 Format  horizontal chūban (originally issued as a pair on an ōban sheet as shown above)
 H x W Paper  6 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (17.3 x 23.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (16.2 x 21 cm) not including cartouche in left margin
 Collections This Print  Waseda University Library; Shizuoka Prefectural Central Library K915-108-039-011
 Reference Literature

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