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Abe Sadatō, Abe Munetō, Hachimantarō in the Scene Sodehagi Saimon from the play Ōshū Adachi-ga-Hara

Originally written for the puppet theater, this popular play was adapted for kabuki in 1763 and has been performed regularly since. The story is about an eleventh-century power struggle in remote northeastern Japan between two samurai clans, the Abe and Minamoto, during the Early Nine Years War (zenkunen kassen). The two Abe brothers continue battling the Minamoto after their father’s death, ultimately losing to the young Minamoto no Yoshi-ie, who was later worshipped as Hachimantarō, “Child of Hachiman, and the god of war.” [Lesley Ham]

Kunisada I/Toyokuni III
Japanese, 1786-1865
Abe Sadatō, Abe Munetō, Hachimantarō in the Scene Sodehagi Saimon from the play Ōshū Adachi-ga-Hara
ca. 1850–53
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
9 ¾ x 14 1/8 in. (24.8 x 35.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 79.114.57