Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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The young nobleman Ushiwakamaru at Itahana Station

  • Description

    The young warrior Ushiwakamaru, later known as Minamoto no Yoshitsune, was sent to Mount Kurama as a boy by his mother’s cruel lover, Taira no Kiyomori. There he learned the secrets of martial arts from the tengu, strange creatures who lived there under the sway of their king, Sōjōbō. Ushiwakamaru became skilled at fighting. Here he is terrifying one long-nosed tengu, who covers his face, and another winged tengu who desperately tries to protect his beak from the blows of the young hero. Minamoto no Yoshitsune is also depicted on the netsuke EA2001.108.

  • Details

    Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō Road
    Associated place
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of publication)
    Asia Japan (Itahana) (subject)
    published 1852
    Edo Period (1600 - 1868)
    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) (designer)
    Associated people
    Hayashiya Shōgorō (active 1840s - 1860s) (publisher)
    Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159 - 1189) (subject)
    Material and technique
    nishiki-e (multi-block) woodblock print, with bokashi (tonal gradation)
    mount 55.5 x 40.4 cm (height x width)
    print 36.2 x 24.7 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented by George Grigs, Miss Elizabeth Grigs, and Miss Susan Messer, in memory of Derick Grigs, 1971.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 23 April-22 September 2013, Manjū: Netsuke from the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Joyce Seaman, ed. (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2013), illus. p. 226 fig. 61

Glossary (3)

netsuke, nishiki-e, tengu

  • netsuke

    The netsuke is a form of toggle that was used to secure personal items suspended on cords from the kimono sash. These items included purses, medicine cases or tobacco paraphernalia.

  • nishiki-e

    Nishiki-e literally means 'brocade pictures' and refers to multi-coloured woodblock prints.

  • tengu

    Tengu are powerful mountain goblins. Two types appear in Japanese art, one with a long nose, and the other with a beak and claws. One identifying feature of both is a feathered fan.


    • currently in research collection

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