Contact us about this object
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. This scene is also depicted on the netsuke EA2001.51.
Artist/makerTsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) (designer)
No. of items
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.
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