Bravery Matched with the Twelve (Zodiac) Signs: Snake and Nitta Shiro

Maker(s)
Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1797-1861)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1840
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 36.6 x 12.5 cm (14 7/16 x 4 15/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.168.6
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

Keywords
Anne van Biema collection, bat, Eastern zodiac, Edo period (1615 - 1868), fire, Japan, snake, ukiyo-e, warrior, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The snake in this print is paired with Nitta Shiro Tadatsune, a warrior who participated in a great hunt at Mount Fuji that celebrated Minamoto no Yoritomo's (1147-1199) victory over the forces of the opposing Taira house. Here Nitta Shiro holds a torch as he enters a cave on Mount Fuji where snakes rise from a pool of water. In the background, a goddess accompanied by a giant snake appears to the warrior in a vision as he confronts danger without hesitation.

Published References
  • Robert T. Singer. The Life of Animals in Japanese Art. Exh. cat. Princeton, New Jersey. p 49, fig 10F.
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 85, pp. 214-5, 226-27.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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