The king of the Tengus teachig martial arts to Yoshisune

In the 12th century, Japan was plunged into civil war between the Taira (Heike) and the Minamoto (Genji) clans.

While Yoshitsune (1159-1189) was still a child, his family the Minamoto clan was defeated by the Taira clan. In an uncommon act of mercy, Taira no Kiyomori (1118-1181), leader of the Taira, spared the lives of the Minamoto children, who later brought about the downfall of the Taira. Yoshitsune, the youngest of the children, was sent to a temple in the mountains, where according to legend, he was taught the martial arts by goblins called tengu.

In this night scene, the king of the tengu, Dai Shojobo, is teaching martial arts to the young Yoshitsune. As the king thrusts forward with a blossom branch Yoshitsune leaps upwards, showering the scene with petals.

The red incense burner by the waterfall and the sacred red fungus indicate the king's mystical powers.

The king of the Tengus teachig martial arts to Yoshisune Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI
Japanese 1839-1892
The king of the Tengus teaching martial arts to Yoshitsune
1886 Tokyo, Japan

colour woodblock (diptych)
35.4 x 46.7 cm (image) (overall)
Purchased from Trustees Funds 1993 (AS2.1993)

The king of the Tengus teachig martial arts to Yoshisune

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