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Beneath a full moon, the agile young Minamoto no Yoshitsune, trained in martial arts by the tengu demons, leaps over the warrior-monk Benkei’s halberd on the Gojō Bridge in Kyoto. Benkei, who is collecting by force 1000 swords from innocent passers-by, has met his match. He has managed to remove Yoshitsune’s white silk overgarment used as a disguise, but cannot defeat the youth. Benkei was so impressed with the young warrior, that he swore allegiance to Yoshitsune and they remained inseparable until death.
Artist/makerTsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) (designer)
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Glossary of terms
Tengu are powerful mountain goblins. Two types appear in Japanese art, one with a long nose, and the other with a beak and claws. One identifying feature of both is a feathered fan.
Seaman, Joyce, Manjū: Netsuke from the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2013), illus. p. 236 fig. 62