JAPANESE PRINTS

A MILLION QUESTIONS

TWO MILLION MYSTERIES

 

Ukiyo-e Prints

浮世絵版画

Port Townsend, Washington

 

UTAGAWA YOSHIIKU

川芳幾

うたがわよしいく

1833-1904

Series Title: Heroes from the Chronicles of the Taiheiki

太平記英勇傳

Subject: Kikkawa Motoharu

菊川(吉川)元春

(吉川 or きっかわ: Kikkawa)
(元春 or もとはる: Motoharu)

1530-1586

Date: 1867, 4th Month

Kei˘ 3

慶応3

Size: 9 3/4" x 7 1/4"

Publisher: Hiroya Kosuke

広岡屋幸助

ひろおかやこうすけ

This is #63 of the series.

$155.00

SOLD!

 

 

KIKKAWA MOTOHARU

吉川元春

きっかわ.もとはる

 

 

 

Motoharu was the second son of Mori Motonari (1497-1571 毛利元就 or もうり.もとなり) a powerful daimyo who controlled a large part of western Honshū and even parts of Kyūshū and Shikoku. The father's power even rivaled that of Oba Nobunaga. But he was not only a great tactician and warrior but he was shrewd too. He made sure that two of his sons, one of whom was Motoharu, were adopted by neighboring lords as their heirs. There are two very telling stories about Motonari. At a time when the nation was in turmoil and the Imperial Court was so impoverished that the new Emperor Ōgimachi (1517-93 正親町 or ) had to postpone his own coronation ceremonies Motonari paid the expenses which won him special praise and honors. There is also the "...well-known anecdote [which] concerns his use of three arrows to show his sons the strength of alliance: each arrow could be broken separately, but the three arrows when held tightly together could not be broken."

 

 

 

ANOTHER WONDERFUL

LITTLE CLUE

RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES

SO TO SPEAK

 

While doing research on Motoharu and his father I ran across the family crest for the Mōri clan. And voila, Motoharu is seated on a lacquer stool decorated with that crest or mon (紋 or もん). The inclusion of this subtle little element speaks to the intelligence of the artist of this print.

 

 

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