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miércoles, 4 de marzo de 2009

Kusunoki Masatsura

Loyalty: Last Stand of Kusunoki Masatsura, by Utagawa ?hide
Date: 1883 Format: Oban triptychPublisher: Ishii RokunosukeNotes: Loyalty: The last stand of Kusunoki Masatsura at the battle of Shijo Nawate in Kyoto (1348). What a powerful samurai worrior battle scene. They don't come much better than this. But, who is the artist? If you know please email me. Untrimmed, full image including full margins, unblacked, separate sheets, each 37 x 25cm.

Kusunoki Masatsura is one of those beautiful losers so admired in samurai culture. Masatsura became the focus of romantic tales of loyalty and bravery, including this one, wherein he defends a court lady and spirits her away from attacking enemies. The scene appears in both written works and kabuki dramas.Yoshitoshi was one of the last great masters, and one of the great innovative and creative geniuses, of the Japanese woodblock print. At the age of eleven, he was enrolled as a student of the school of Kuniyoshi. His early work is full of extremely graphic violence and death, perhaps mirroring the lawlessness and violence of the Japan around him, which was simultaneously going through the breakdown of the feudal system imposed by the Tokugawa shoguns, as well as the impact of the West. By 1871, Yoshitoshi became severely depressed. Unable to work, he hardly produced any prints for two years. In 1873 he recovered from his depressions and changed his name to Taiso, which means 'great resurrection'. In 1882 he was employed by a newspaper. This gave him a steady income and marked the end of years of poverty. His last years were among his most productive, not only in terms of quantity, but also in terms of artistic quality. In 1985 the first designs of 'One Hundred Aspects of the Moon' were published. This series was extremely popular. In 1888 the series '32 Aspects of Customs and Manners was published', a series of women prints. In 1889 a new series with ghost subjects came on the market: 'New Form of 36 Ghosts'. The symptoms of mental illness became more and more frequent. Nevertheless Yoshitoshi Tsukioka continued to work. He died in 1892 from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53.

(1326-1348)He is son of Kusunoki Masashige.The scene where he divides with the father before war is written on the story "Taihei-ki".


As a boy Masatsuna defended his home from curious creatures and spirits, as shown here. Later when he was about to go to his certain death in the Battle of Shijo Nawate, he carved out a poem on the door of a temple in Yoshino, using his arrowhead.

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