Yoshitoshi's 'Courageous Warriors (Yoshitoshi musha burui)' (1883-1886)


This page attempts to catalog all known prints in Yoshitoshi's series 'Yoshitoshi musha burui (芳年 武者 旡類 - Yoshitoshi's Courageous Warriors)'; the title is often translated as 'Yoshitoshi's Warriors Trembling with Courage'.

The series dates from the end of Yoshitoshi's career, when he was about forty-four. It thus dates from very shortly before his well-known masterpieces such as his great series "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon" (1885-1892), and "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" (often called simply "Thirty-Six Ghosts") (1889-1892).

Technical details

There are at least 3 editions of the first printing of this series. The first is usually (as with all things with Japanese woodblock prints, there are always exception to every rule) denoted by two small square red seals in the left-hand margin, and the title cartouche has several inclined bokashi stripes across it (which makes sense for the earliest, since it was the most work to produce). Very late editions are said to lack not only these, but the black line around the image.

It was also re-published by Tsunajima Kamekichi in 1886; although a later printing, copies from this run are usually quite well printed. Instances from this printing may be distinguished by the use of a plain grey field in the title cartouche.

Previous cataloguings

Listed in Keyes' thesis:
	Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and
		Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Cinncinnati, 1982
where it appears as series #460; he listed all 33 prints in the series. The next listing was in:
	Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap, "Beauty and Violence: Japanese
		Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Havilland, Eindhoven, 1992
where it appears as series #44 (pp. 128-130).

We use the Keyes/B+V numbers to order the prints below.

If you have either i) information about any errors on the page, ii) better images than the ones below, or iii) missing information about individual prints (e.g. publisher, exact date), please let us know.

The Prints

To see a larger, roughly full-screen, image of any print, please click on the thumbnail; these images are sized to produce reasonable detail (if we have an original that big), and are fairly compressed.

If we have a higher-quality image, that image can be viewed by clicking on the "Large Image" link, which gives the size of the image (for the benefit of those on slow links). Sometimes there is more than one, if our best-quality image has issues (e.g. trimmed margins).

Thumbnail Large image Number Date Title (Kanji) Title (Rōmaji) Title (English) Description
#1 1883/12 Uesugi Kenshin Nyūdō Terutora riding into battle
#2 1883/12 Kazue-no-kami Katō Kiyomasa observing a monkey with a writing brush
#3 1883/12 Yamanaka Shikanosuke Yukimori praying
#4 1883/12 Danjō Matsunaga Hisahide preparing to commit suicide
#5 1883/12 Minamoto no Ushiwakamaru battling with Kumasaka Chōhan
#6 1883/12 Ōtōmi Takenouchi no Sukune torturing a Korean
#7 1883/12 Yamato Takeru no Mikoto killing the chief of the Kumaso
#8 1883/12 Sano Genzaemon Tsuneyo cutting his potted trees to warm Hōjō Tokiyori
#9 1883/12 Endō Musha Moritō approaching Kesa Gozen's bedroom
#10 1883/12 Hatakeyama Shōji Shigetada wounded by the soldiers of his Lord Tokimasa
#11 1883/12 Sagami-no-kami Hōjō Takatoki warding off a group of tengu with his fan
#12 1883/12 Sagami Jirō Taira no Masakado attacking an opponent on horseback
#13 1883/12 Hōjō Tokimasa praying to a goddess in the sea
#14 Early-mid 1885 Hino Kumawakamaru and the priest calling back the boat
#15 Early-mid 1885 Kurō Hangan Minamoto Yoshitsune and Musashibō Benkei under a cherry tree
#16 Early-mid 1885 Taira no Tadamori and the oil priest
#17 Early-mid 1885 Nomi no Sukune wrestling with Taima no Kehaya
#18 Early-mid 1885 Taira Sōkoku Kiyomori calls back the setting sun
#19 1886/1 Shinchūnagon Taira no Tomomori sweeping the deck
#20 1886/1 Shinozuka Iga-no-kami Sadatsuna lifting a giant beam
#21 1886/1 Nitta Shirō Tadatsune entering a cave with a torch
#22 1886/1 Hachiman Tarō Yoshiie slashing a go board
#23 1886/1 Minamoto no Raikō meets Sakata Kintoki on Ashigara Mountain
#24 1886/1 Kinoshita Tōkichirō (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) standing in a stream with an enemy's head
#25 1886/1 Genzammi Yorimasa kneeling by a tree
#26 1886/1 Akushichibyōe Kagekiyo and Mionoya Shirō Kunitoshi bathing on beach
#27 1886/1 Hangakujo on a rearing horse
#28 1886/10 Funada Nyūdō Yoshimasa grappling with Sachūjō Nitta Yoshisada in mid-air
669KB #29 1886/10 左兵衛佐 源 頼朝 Sahyōe(no)suke Minamoto Yoritomo Sahyōenosuke Minamoto no Yoritomo attacking an enemy on horseback
#30 1886/10 Soga no Gorō Tokimune held back by Gosho no Gorōmaru
#31 1886/10 Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo with two islanders on the beach at Ashijima
#32 1886/10 Takeda Shingen in armor walking by castle
436KB #33 1886/10 能登 守 教經
九郎 判官 源 義經
Noto-no-kami Noritsune and Kurō Hangan Minamoto Yoshitsune fighting on ship's prow


Thanks to (in alphabetical order) the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which was the source of a number of these images.

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© Copyright 2013 by J. Noel Chiappa and Jason M. Levine

Last updated: 28/August/2013