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

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Benkei at Gojō Bridge

  • Description

    Beneath a full moon, the agile young Minamoto no Yoshitsune, trained in martial arts by the tengu demons, leaps over the warrior-monk Benkei’s halberd on the Gojō Bridge in Kyoto. Benkei, who is collecting by force 1000 swords from innocent passers-by, has met his match. He has managed to remove Yoshitsune’s white silk overgarment used as a disguise, but cannot defeat the youth. Benkei was so impressed with the young warrior, that he swore allegiance to Yoshitsune and they remained inseparable until death.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of publication)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKyōto prefectureKyoto Gojō bridge (subject)
    published 1881
    Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) (designer)
    Associated people
    Morimoto Junzaburō (1861 - 1923) (publisher)
    Benkei (1155 - 1189) (subject)
    Material and technique
    nishiki-e (multi-block) woodblock print, with bokashi (tonal gradation)
    mount 55.5 x 34.9 cm (height x width)
    print 35.2 x 23.7 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented by Christ Church College, University of Oxford, 1983.
    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. 236 fig. 62

Glossary (2)

nishiki-e, tengu

  • 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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