In this image, Yoshitoshi depicts the legendary warrior Kiso Komawakamaru Yoshinaka fighting tengu. One is crouched on his left and biting his arm, another attacks from his right, and an army of them approaches from behind. The artist depicts most of these creatures with beaks, but the one on Yoshinaka’s right is more human with a long nose, which Yoshinaka grabs forcefully. This lively scene is from a series of fifty prints by Yoshitoshi from 1866-67 based on the 14th-century Chinese novel Water Margin (Japanese: Suikoden), which was hugely popular in Japan. In this series, Yoshitoshi replaces the Chinese heroes with outlaws, sorcerers and other marginal figures from Japanese legend, often battling with Japanese supernatural creatures like the tengu.
Japanese text printed in the upper right area of image. On mat, in pencil: Marer 365. Signed: Ikkai Yoshitoshi hitsu. Censor's seal: Aratame and date (Tora-ju) on single seal.
Colored ink woodblock on paper; oban.
Edo period Japanese color woodblock print with an image of a man fighting demons.
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