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At the fourth battle of Kawanakajima, the warlord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573) fought off a surprise attack from his long time neighbour and rival, Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578) by parrying the enemy’s sword with his metal war-fan. In the distance troops fighting at the confluence of the Sai and Chikumen rivers can be seen. The name Kawanakajima means ‘island between rivers’ and was the site of five battles between these two warlords. This warrior is one of those depicted on the netsuke EA2001.88.
Artist/makerUtagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) (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.
Seaman, Joyce, Manjū: Netsuke from the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2013), illus. p. 206 fig. 59