Comments - Fantastic and rare hexaptych or six-panel Yoshitoshi depiction of the assassination of Ii Naosuke, Lord Hikone. Naosuke had signed the Harris Treaty with the United States in 1858, opening Japan to trade with America, a move that sharply divided the country. He was assassinated by 18 samurai from Mito and Satsuma on March 24, 1860 in an ambush outside the Sakurada Gate at Edo Castle. This extensive scene shows the bloody battle taking place in the snow as Naosuke's retainers fight with swords and spears against the attackers. Many warriors lie wounded or deed in the snow, staining it red with their blood. Abandoned baskets, palanquins, and weapons litter the ground, while bystanders flee or take cover. The stone walls of the castle extend across the background, with the gate at right, and a gently curving road across the moat at far left. Characters are identified with either a yellow or red name cartouche. Includes a dusting of mica across the top of the sky. An incredible depiction of this historic event, with a complex composition and wonderful detail, very rarely seen complete in six panels.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 14" x 58 1/2" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Six separate panels. Small losses at edges, wormholes, repaired. Slight toning, soiling, creasing, and spotting. Please see photos for details.