warrior standing with horse in front of large tree

Departure of the Warrior Kusunoki at the Sakurai Station, c. 1880-1899

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This is one of Kiyochika's most experimental and technically ambitious prints. Replicating the effects of copperplate engraving, Kiyochika rendered volume and shadow by means of crosshatching. The figures and background landscape also reflect the influence of Western naturalism. Nonetheless, the subject of the print is a famous one from Japanese history showing the 14th century warrior Kusunoki Masashige. When Kusunoki and his troops were outmaneuvered by the enemy forces, he realized he would soon die. Although his brave son wanted to stay by his father, Kusunoki instructed him to return home, so that he could survive to fight another day. This touching farewell between father and son was the subject of literature and theatrical performances. Kiyochika's rendering of the episode emphasizes the heroism of the warriors who gave their lives for the Emperor, an attitude that corresponded to Japan's rising nationalism in the late 19th century.

Details
Title
Departure of the Warrior Kusunoki at the Sakurai Station
Artist Life
1847 - 1915
Role
Artist
Accession Number
96.146.120
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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warrior standing with horse in front of large tree