Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1847-1915
Self-made Men Worthy of Emulation: no. 32, Oda Nobunaga
(Kyodo Risshi no Moto: Oda Nobunaga)
the series title, Kyodo Risshi no Moto, in a banner above the composition framed by a decorative brocade border, signed Shinsei Kiyochika, the carver's seal Miyamoto partially obscured on the lower right margin, with a stylized cartouche on the bottom margin with the design number, 32, the publication date to the right, on todoke Meiji juhachinen junigatsu nijugoka (registered Meiji 18  December 25) and to the left, Gako ken shuppan Ryogoku Yoshikawacho 2-banchi Matsuki Heikichi ban, published by Matsuki Heikichi of Daikokuya, 1885
oban tate-e 14 1/2 by 9 3/8 in., 36.8 by 23.8 cm
The story depicted takes place 1549, a period of civil war between various clans in the provinces. Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), who would play a role in the unification of Japan, had been betrothed by his father to the daughter of Saito Dosan (1494-1556), the daimyo of Mino and a rival. A formal meeting was arranged for Dosan to meet Nobunaga, who had a reputation for bizarre behavior. But Dosan, eager to catch a glimpse of his future son-in-law before the formal introductions, he hid in a hut along the route, intending only to watch the procession as it passed. But when he saw Nobunaga in his outlandish and flamboyant dress, he and his retainers were aghast and could barely stifle a reaction. Kiyochika depicts Nobunaga on horseback in the procession with an attendant shielding him with a large umbrella and a long line of standard-bearing retainers following on parade. He wears a bight red outer-robe decorated with a comical pattern of mushrooms and a tiger skin on his legs and he uses his folded fan to point in the direction of a small hut where his future father-in-law, Dosan peers out at the spectacle of the flamboyant Nobunaga.
The Lavenberg Collection of Japanese Prints (myjapanesehanga.com)
Edo Tokyo Museum, accession no. 96200393
(inv. no. 10-3264y)
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