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Mure Takamatsu Zu (Drawing of Mure Takamatsu)

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

By Kanō Norinobu

Coloring on silk; single scroll

Mid-Edo period


 This drawing is a work by Kanō Michinobu (狩野道信) (1730–1790), the sixth head of the Kanō Family (狩野家) in Kobiki-chō. The drawing depicts the imposing warrior – Minamoto no Yoshitsune (源義経) (1159–1189), who attacked the Taira clan (平氏) after reaching Mure Takamatsu (nowadays known as Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture) during the Genpei War (源平合戦) (1180–1185).

 As it can be seen, the drawing is signed as a work by Nakatsukasa-kyō Hōgan Eikawa Fujiwara Norinobu (中務卿法眼榮川藤原典信). However, given that “Nakatsukasa-kyō” refers to the Head of the Ministry of Central Affairs, this painting was possibly intended for an Imperial Court official originally before it was owned by the Hibiya Family (日比谷家).

 The heroic image of Minamoto no Yoshitsune was often displayed during Boy's Festival (Tango no sekku 端午の節句), an annual day event during which people pray for boys’ healthy growth. The image was likewise displayed in the Hibiya Family during this annual event.

All Japanese names in this translation follow the Japanese order: surname-name, and all Japanese names and words follow the Hepburn romanization method.

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