Kagekiyo Attempts to Assassinate Yoritomo at the Great Buddha Hall of Tôdai-ji Temple, first edition

景清大仏供養 「建久元年右大将頼朝上洛の後南都東大寺大仏殿再建成就して今日供養なりしと聞いて七兵衛景清ハ山門衆徒に姿をやつし源公の旅館を詞ふ処に庄司重忠これを悟りて土卒ニ下知し漸々搦捕禁獄せしとなんつたへり」

Edo period
about 1845 (Kôka 2)
Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861), Publisher Hayashiya Shôgorô (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Hizô Ukiyo-e taikan/Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections 11, Museo d'Arte Orientale, Genoa, II (1989), pl. 130 (second edition); Robinson, Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints (1982), list #T157


Vertical ôban triptych; 36.8 x 74.7 cm (14 1/2 x 29 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.28793, 11.28794, 11.41076

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Triptych: 11.28793 (right), 11.28794 (center), 11.41076 (left)

MFA impressions: 11.28793VR (11.28793, 11.28794, 11.41076; first edition), 11.22893-5 (second edition)

Full title: In 1190, after Yoritomo visited Kyoto, he completed the restoration of the Great Buddha Hall at Tôdai-ji Temple in Nara; and hearing of the dedication ceremony, Shichibyôe Kagekiyo disguised himself as a monk and spied on Yoritomo’s lodgings; but Shôshi Shigetada became aware of it and ordered the soldiers to arrest Kagekiyo (Kenkyû gannen Udaishô Yoritomo jôraku no go Nanto Tôdai-ji Daibutsuden saiken seiju shite, kyô kuyô narishi to kiite, Shichibyôe Kagekiyo wa sanmon shûto ni sugata o yatsushi, Minamoto kô no ryokan o ukagau tokoro ni, Shôshi Shigetada wa kore o satorite, dosotsu ni geji shi, zenzen karametori kingoku seshi to nan tsutaeri)


Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga (on each sheet)


Censor's seal: Watari
No blockcutter's mark


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 – d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection