Warrior Asahina Kobayashi


The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This 1862 print is a half-length portrait of an actor, wearing a robe with a bird motif, in the role of Asahina. The print is from the series The 36 Stars of the Modern Day (Tōsei Mitate Sanjū Rokkasen). Asahina Kobayashi was a warrior of the Kamakura period (late 12th to early 14th century) known for great strength and valor. In this Kabuki act, however, Asahina plays the clown.

Last updated: April 20, 2015