Horse and Soga no Goro

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1797-1861)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, late 18th-mid 19th century
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 36.6 x 12.5 cm (14 7/16 x 4 15/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, Eastern zodiac, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hero, horse, Japan, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

Soga no Goro, who with his brother, Juro, avenged the death of their father by killing his murderer, Kudo Suketsune, here rides off on a horse, the zodiac animal represented in this print. The Soga brothers' vendetta became a popular subject of no and kabuki plays. Here Goro's costume has the butterfly motif that conventionally appears on kabuki costumes for the character. A special feature of this print is the wood-grain pattern from the block used to print the blue background.

Published References
  • Robert T. Singer. The Life of Animals in Japanese Art. Exh. cat. Princeton, New Jersey. p 52, fig 10G.
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 86, pp. 214-5, 228-29.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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