Important Cultural Property

‘The Tale of Yamanaka Tokiwa’


Artist Attributed to Iwase Matabei Katsumochi
Period Edo period, 17th century
Materials and techniques Set of twelve handscrolls, colour on paper
Size 34.1×15031.0


During the early Edo period, it became a fad among the daimyōs (military lords) to make into a picture scroll tales from ayatsuri-jyōruri (art of chanting dramatic narration accompanied with puppets) which had been popular in the preceding period. This picture scroll is one such example based on a tale of the warrior hero Yoshitsune. His mother, the Lady Tokiwa, who had left the capital in order to meet Yoshitsune in Ōshu, is murdered in the mountain by bandits, so Yoshitsune takes revenge on these bandits. While this is a masterpiece comprised of twelve-volumes, the unity of the structure is such that it hints to a single artist’s production. The portraits, with rich cheeks and long jaws, show characteristics of Katsumochi’s works. Formerly owned by Matsudaira family of Tsuyama (present Okayama prefecture).

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