Soga Brothers Entering an Enemy Camp

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Essays by Yoshitoshi: The Soga Brothers Entering an Enemy Camp in the Rain
(Ikkai zuihitsu: Soga Juro Sukenari, Soga Goro Tokimune)

signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu, with artist's seal Tsukioka, published by Masadaya Heikichi, ca. 1873

oban tate-e 14 3/8 by 9 5/8 in., 36.4 by 24.6 cm

The Soga Brothers, Goro and Juro, were medieval warriors whose lives were recounted in the 14th-century novel The Tale of the Soga (Soga monogatari). The historical tale of the two brothers, which would be retold, elaborated, and embellished in numerous kabuki, Noh, and bunraku (puppet theater) plays, centered around the death of their father and the subsequent vendetta they declared against his killer, Kudo Suketsune (d. 1193). In some adaptations, they attempt to recover an artifact (often a sword) stolen by the killer. A few kabuki plays, most memorably Sukeroku, feature one of the brothers in disguise attempting to avenge his father's death. In this composition, they are depicted in the rain entering Suketsune's camp. Though they would kill Suketsune in this brazen night raid, Juro was slain in the ensuing fight. His brother would not last much longer. In spite of his heartfelt desire to pardon the young warrior, the Shogun would be compelled to execute Goro the very next day.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 396, no. 280.13
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 111, no. 23.13 (illus.)
Brandon & Leiter 2002, pp. 26-29 (re: stories)
Iwakiri 2014, p. 63, no. 91
Philadelphia Museum of Art, accession no. 1978-129-227

SOLD

kikumon

Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
kem@scholten-japanese-art.com
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.

site last updated
July 10, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475