Endo Morito Holding the Severed Head of Kesa Gozen, 1901

by Kunisada III (1786 - 1864)

Current Status

Endo Morito Holding the Severed Head of Kesa Gozen, 1901 by Kunisada III (1786 - 1864)

Original Kunisada III (1786 - 1864) Japanese Woodblock Print
Endo Morito Holding the Severed Head of Kesa Gozen, 1901

Comments - Fantastic if rather gruesome kabuki triptych showing the warrior Endo Morito at left holding up the severed head of the beauty Kesa gozen. The virtuous wife of a palace guard, Lady Kesa became the object of the samurai's unwanted affections, and although she repeatedly refused his advances, he remained persistent. To end things, she asked him to kill her husband, then after cutting off her hair, took her husband's place in bed that night. When Morito discovered that he had killed the beauty, he became a monk, taking the name of Mongaku and doing penance under an icy waterfall. This print shows Morito staring up at the head unflinchingly, his sword still in his hand, in shock as he realizes that he has killed his beloved instead of her husband. He stands on the stone steps of the palace as maple leaves fall silently around him and a full moon glows in the evening sky. At right, a beauty serves sake to an angry guest, who glares at her as he holds a shallow red lacquer cup, a tray of sweets before him. An interesting design with the composition divided diagonally to feature two scenes.

Artist - Kunisada III (1786 - 1864)

Image Size - 14" x 28" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Horizontal folds, wrinkling throughout. Please see photos for details.

Endo Morito Holding the Severed Head of Kesa Gozen, 1901 by Kunisada III (1786 - 1864)
Endo Morito Holding the Severed Head of Kesa Gozen, 1901 by Kunisada III (1786 - 1864)

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