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The Swordsmith Okazaki Goro Masamune

Woodblock Print
1843-1847 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige is from a series depicting legendary artisans. Ryukatei Tanekazu provided the text inscriptions. Here Hiroshige depicts the great swordsmith Masamune forging a sword with the help of an assistant. His formal dress and the hangings across the doorway indicate the rituals associated with making swords. The text relates that Masamune was born in Kamakura in Sagami Province (modern Kanagawa Prefecture) in the first year of the Bun'ei era (1264). It says that at the age of 17 he left the workshop of his father Yukimitsu to train with Shintogo Kunimitsu. So great were his skills that he became famous throughout the land. Any swordsmith worthy of the name trained with Masamune.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleA Compendium of Famous Artisans (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief Description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'The Swordsmith Okazaki Goro Masamune', from the series 'A Compendium of Famous Artisans'; fan print, Japanese, 1843-1847
Physical Description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Ibaya Kyubei. Censor seal: Muramatsu.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Credit line
R. Leicester Harmsworth Gift
Summary
This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige is from a series depicting legendary artisans. Ryukatei Tanekazu provided the text inscriptions. Here Hiroshige depicts the great swordsmith Masamune forging a sword with the help of an assistant. His formal dress and the hangings across the doorway indicate the rituals associated with making swords. The text relates that Masamune was born in Kamakura in Sagami Province (modern Kanagawa Prefecture) in the first year of the Bun'ei era (1264). It says that at the age of 17 he left the workshop of his father Yukimitsu to train with Shintogo Kunimitsu. So great were his skills that he became famous throughout the land. Any swordsmith worthy of the name trained with Masamune.
Collection
Accession Number
E.2931-1913

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record createdNovember 20, 2003
Record URL