This print is divided into two parts: the top one, poem and portrait of Gon chunagon Oe no Masafusa. And the one below, discussion between Taira no Atsumori and Princess Tamaori before his departure for the battle of Ichi no Tani (1184) where he was killed by the hand of Naozane.
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This print is part of the series "Ogura imitation of hundred poets", it consists of 100 prints dedicated to 100 poets.
The series is an association of three artists Hiroshige (35 prints) Kuniyoshi (51 prints) and Kunisada (with 14 prints)
The series is divided into two parts: The first is a poem with the name of the series while the second series the upper part, there is a poem and a fan-shaped design in which the poet is drawn corresponds. In this case, the print is part of the second part.
The upper part is dedicated to the poet Chunagon Oe no Masafusa (大江匡房), his poem is:
onoe no sakura
saki ni keri
toyama no kasuri
tatazu mo aranan
Can be translated by:
On the distant mount ,
O’er the slope below the peak ,
Cherries are in flower ,
May the mists of hilter hills
Not arise to veil the scene
Ōe no Masafusa (大江匡房) (1041 -December 7, 1111) is a Japanese Kugyo poet, scholar, and courtier from the latter half of the Heian period. He is the grandson of the poets Oe no Masahira and Akazome Emon. Her father is Ōe no Narihira, rector of Daigaku-ryo, and her mother is the daughter of Tachibana no Takachika. His artist name is Gō no Sochi (江帥?). Masafusa is best known for writing the Gōke Shidai which is one of the most valuable sources of historical information relating to eleventh-century public functions and ceremonies.
The lower part is Taira no Astumori 平敦盛, 1169-1184 and his wife Princess Tamaori, he is preparing to leave for war at the battle of Ichi-no-tani where he will be killed by Kumagai Naozame (熊谷次郎直実) ( March 24, 1141 - September 27, 1207 / October 25, 1208), this is Japan's most famous single combat. Taira fought Naozame but lost the fight but Naozame was shocked by the youth and nobility of his opponent and did not want to cut off his head. Atsumori tells him that he has to do it and then obeyed Naozame will become a monk. A Noh piece is dedicated to them. One can see in this print the sublime knowledge of kuniyoshi of Japanese history and culture, for using the poem he shows in the “distant mounts” (journey to a war) and the “cherry blossoms” (which represents life ephemeral of the samurai and even more the life of Taira no Astumori), the dramatically short and pure life of Taira No Astumori, who died on the battlefield.
Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861), 歌川国芳, Son of a silk dyer, he was born in 1797 under the name of Yoshizo. In his youth, he probably assisted his father, providing the designs for the pieces to be dyed, and thus naturally oriented himself towards the world of art. He was accepted as a pupil by Toyokuni Utagawa in 1814. Later, he founded his his own school and his drawings became popular. Famous for his prints of actors and animals (especially cats that he adored), he owes his inspiration above all to legends, to the fantastic, poetic and warrior universe of which we find a strong influence in his work. He is the author of 10,000 prints and several series. The great earthquake of 1855, after which, returning home late, he was given for dead by his family and the members of his workshop, marks the end of his great period. Suffering from illness and depression, he now produces little. He died in Edo in 1861.
|signature||Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861), 歌 川 国 芳|