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The Emperor Konoe (1139-1155) had become ill due to a strange presence heralded by a black cloud over the palace. The warrior Minamoto no Yorimasa was sent to investigate it and discovered a peculiar creature, called a nue. Here he stands on the right dressed in court robes having wounded the nue with an arrow. He holds a torch so that Ii no Hayata, in armour, can dispatch it. On a veranda is the court lady Ayame no Mae, whose hand in marriage Minamoto no Yorimasa will earn from the Emperor for ridding the capital of this mysterious menace. This story is also depicted on the netsuke EA2001.114.
Artist/makerUtagawa Kunisada (1823 - 1880) (designer)
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Glossary of terms
The netsuke is a form of toggle that was used to secure personal items suspended on cords from the kimono sash. These items included purses, medicine cases or tobacco paraphernalia.
An imaginary creature with a monkey’s head, badger’s body, paws of a tiger, a snake for a tail and with the voice of a golden mountain thrush (toratsugumi).