Senso-e - Senso-e are prints depicting wars, most often the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 - 1895 and the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 - 1905. Primarily triptychs, these images filled the journalistic need for illustrations of current activities on the battle front, but also acted as propaganda, encouraging support for the wars and fostering patriotism. These prints emphasized the bravery and success of the army and navy, using dramatic designs and bold compositions, with customers eagerly purchasing the latest prints. Some famous Meiji era artists did senso-e, including Kiyochika, Chikanobu, and Gekko. By the time the Russo-Japanese War came around, woodblock prints had fallen out of favor due to competition with photography and lithography, so fewer designs exist from this time period as compared to the Sino-Japanese War.
Comments - Fantastic triptych depicting the famous warrior Sato no Tadanobu, a loyal retainer of Yoshitsune, resisting arrest. After a former mistress betrayed his hiding place, he used a go board to fight off more than 200 policemen attacking him. Here, he waves the go board above his head as a weapon while gripping the hair of his treacherous mistress, yanking her off balance at left. Two containers of game pieces fly through the air, scattering black and white pieces over his attackers. Two men grab him from behind, but he fights valiantly as guards rush forward at left and a noblemen directs the charge from the left. An incredible scene from this legendary tale, with a dramatic composition and fine detail. Go board prints are highly collectible, and this woodblock illustrates one of the most famous tales involving a go board. A great subject for a collector.
Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14 3/8" x 29 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Small losses at corners and edges, a few small tears at edges, repaired. Toning, slight soiling, a few small spots, slight paper remnants at side. Please see photos for details.