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Yahagi Bridge at Midnight with Wild Geese Descending

Bairin (active 1894)

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yahagi Bridge at Midnight with Wild Geese Descending

  by Utagawa Yoshitsuya, 1861

Title Page from the series Annual Events of the Edo Theater

IHL Cat. #359

About This Print

Ushiwakamaru (御曹子牛若丸 Onzōshi Ushiwakamaru, as written in the red cartouche to his right), the young Minamoto Yoshitsune (1159-1189), sits with a bowl apparently demanding money to allow a group of peculiar looking bandits, led by Ise Saburo Yoshimori 伊勢三郎義盛, to pass.  Ushiwaka holds the bottom of Yoshimori's Japanese long lance with his feet.  Yoshimori was later to become a close personal adviser to Yoshitsune.  Yoshitsune was known for having a number of followers of "low social standing" and the members of his army have been described as "guerrillas."  It is speculated that Yoshitsune "formed ties with most of his peculiar band of followers" during his travels in the provinces.1

scroll detail

Variant Printings



1 Warriors of Japan as Portrayed in the War Tales, Paul Varley, University of Hawaii Press, 1994, p. 135.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description
 Yahagi Bridge at Midnight with Wild Geese Descending 矢矧橋夜半落雁
 Artist  Utagawa Yoshitsuya (1822-1866)
Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga 一英斎 芳艶 画
 Seal  no artist's seal
 Publication Date
left panel
center panel
right panel
1861 [文久元年 bunkyū gannen (bunkyū era first year)]

Kagaya Kichibei 加賀屋 吉兵衛 [Marks: seal 22-024; pub. ref. 194]
Horikō Mino
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - top, bottom and right margins trimmed to image; minor soiling; vertical fold left side of center sheet; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e - Edo era
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper
 13 3/4 x  9 5/8 in. (34.9 x 24.48 cm) each sheet
 Collections This Print