Kusunoki Masashige, 1879

by Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)

Current Status

Kusunoki Masashige, 1879 by Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)

Original Kiyochika (1847 - 1915) Japanese Woodblock Print
Kusunoki Masashige, 1879

Series; An Unofficial History of Japan

The Satsuma Rebellion - Known in Japanese as the Seinan Senso or Southwestern War, the Satsuma Rebellion took place in 1877 between disaffected former samurai and Meiji Imperial forces. With the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Meiji restoration of the Emperor in 1867, the samurai class was abolished, leaving this once ruling class unemployed and impoverished. Led by former Imperial Army General Saigo Takamori, samurai from the Satsuma domain in Kagoshima rebelled against the government, leading to a series of battles that ultimately ended in the defeat of the rebels at the Battle of Shiroyama, with Saigo committing seppuku or ritual suicide. Woodblock prints of the conflict were popular, providing accounts of the latest battles to a public eager for news.

Kusunoki Masashige, 1879 - Handsome portrait of Kusunoki Masashige on horseback conferring a nobleman at an encampment in the woods, with samurai kneeling on the ground beside a cloth tent wall hung from the pine trees. Dressed in full armor and wearing a horned battle helmet topped with a demon, he leans over, focusing his attentions on the short man at right wearing a blue and white kimono patterned with the crest of the Kusunoki Clan, which also appears on the red personal standards worn by Masashige and the soldier on horseback at left. Kusunoki was loyal to the exiled Emperor Go-Daigo, and would lead his men into the Battle of Minatogawa on the emperor's order, knowing that that his side faced superior forces and almost certain death. Badly defeated, Kusunoki and his remaining men committed suicide. Kusunoki is remembered for his extreme loyalty and self-sacrifice, and a monument to him stands outside the Imperial Palace. A nice image of this great warrior, with fine bokashi shading in the night sky.

Artist - Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)

Image Size - 14" x 28 3/8" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with good color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few repairs, fold at edge, creasing. Please see photos for details.

Kusunoki Masashige, 1879 by Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)
Kusunoki Masashige, 1879 by Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)

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