Yoshitora was one of Kuniyoshi's best pupils and his style much resembles that of the master. This print depicts Japan's most famous warrior, Minamoto Yoshitsune, defending himself with a long spear in a rain of arrrows. His features curled up intensely, he takes on the warriors below the veranda attacking him with swords, his courtly robes billowing. Yoshitsune's dramatic biography came to an untimely end when he was slain by his brother, Yoritomo. This is his desperate last stand as he fights to the death against impossible odds. Yoshitora made this print during the double censor period (1847-1851) when warrior prints peaked in popularity, due to restrictions on kabuki and yoshiwara themes.
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