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Matsunaga Hisahide About to Commit Suicide, from the series "Yoshitoshi's Courageous Warriors"

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Asian Art

Yoshitoshi’s Courageous Warriors was the artist’s last series based on historical subject matter. The compositions depict famous warriors from Japan’s past with an intensity and detailed care that demonstrate Yoshitoshi’s reverence for the role long played by warriors in the formation of Japan. Matsunaga no Hisahide (1510–1577) was a warrior who, when faced with certain death, defiantly broke a treasured tea utensil sought by his enemy and then killed himself.
MEDIUM Color woodblock print on paper
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 1883
    PERIOD Meiji Period
    DIMENSIONS 14 x 9 9/16 in. (35.6 x 24.3 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2007.31.6
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Dr. Eleanor Z. Wallace
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Oban tate-e format. Page from the series also translated as "Warriors Trembling with Courage" A kneeling man has just thrown a black ceramic vessel against a wall; shards of the vessel fly through the air. The man's throwing hand remains raised while his other hand holds a large dagger. He is preparing to commit hara-kiri, his kimono opened so he can plunge the dagger into his abdomen. The armor standing behind him and the sword lying in front of him identify him as a member of the samurai class. Condition (per appraisal): Backed
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892). Matsunaga Hisahide About to Commit Suicide, from the series "Yoshitoshi's Courageous Warriors," 1883. Color woodblock print on paper, 14 x 9 9/16 in. (35.6 x 24.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Dr. Eleanor Z. Wallace, 2007.31.6 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2007.31.6_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 2007.31.6_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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