The Sakuradamon Incident

by Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880)

Current Status

The Sakuradamon Incident by Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880)

Original Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Sakuradamon Incident

Comments - Fantastic triptych showing the assassination of the Chief Minister Ii Naosuke outside Edo Castle in 1860. Ii had supported the succession of the twelve-year-old Tokugawa Iemochi to Shogun upon the death of Tokugawa Iesada, rather than Lord Mito's son Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu, angering the Mito clan. Then, acting without the Emperor's consent, Ii signed the Harris Treaty with the United States, opening Japan up to trade with the West. These insults could not be accepted, so one winter morning, seventeen Mito samurai waited in the snow for Ii to arrive at the Sakurada Gate of the castle, attacking his palanquin and retainers. In the center, a samurai grips his sword above his head as two enemies come at him with a spear and sword. Just below, a fallen man lies on his back in the snow. The heated battle continues all around, with Naosuke's palanquin visible at upper right outside the moat to the castle. The red entrance gate can be seen at upper left. A lively scene with expressive figures, detailed with a spattering of hand-applied gofun (white pigment) to indicate falling snow.

Artist - Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880)

Image Size - 14 1/8" x 27 3/4" + margin as shown

Condition - Nice detail. Vertical and diagonal folds. A few repairs, wrinkling throughout.

The Sakuradamon Incident by Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880)
The Sakuradamon Incident by Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880)

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