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Retired Emperor Sutoku Sends His Followers to Rescue Tametomo (Sanuki no in kenzoku o shite Tametomo o sukuu zū)

This magnificent triptych combines three episodes from the serial novel Tales of the Bow Moon published in 1808. Loosely based on historical events, the hero Minamoto no Tametomo, a famous archer in the Hōgen rebellion of 1156, is caught in a violent storm. His wife (at the far right) throws herself into the sea in an attempt to pacify the storm. Tametomo (at the left) is rescued by the tengu (mythical half-bird, half-man creatures), who have been sent by the former emperor to save him. The tengu also calm the massive fish by flying into its mouth. In the center panel, riding on the back of the giant fish, Tametomo’s loyal retainer holds his master’s infant son.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Japanese, 1797‒1861
Retired Emperor Sutoku Sends His Followers to Rescue Tametomo (Sanuki no in kenzoku o shite Tametomo o sukuu zū)
Sumiyoshiya Masagorō, publisher
1851
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
20 x 14 ½ in. (76.2 x 36.8 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 68.64