The Battle of Abeno, Osaka (Ôsaka Abeno kassen no zu)
1615 (Genna 1)
Artist Unknown, Japanese
U. of Tokyo, Nyûsu no tanjô (1999), p. 19, fig. 2; Ono, Kawaraban monogatari (1960), first plate
Vertical ôban; 40.7 x 27.5 cm (16 x 10 13/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (kawaraban); ink on paper
Not On View
“Kawaraban” means literally “tile print,” since early examples of these technically illegal news broadsides were supposedly printed from ceramic tiles; but in fact, the surviving examples are woodblock prints.
This design is alleged to be one of the first kawaraban, depicting the final battle that consolidated the rule of the Tokugawa shoguns. It is uncertain whether this impression actually dates from the time of the fall of Osaka Castle in 1615 or (more likely) is a later reproduction.
For transcription of the texts, see Nyûsu no tanjô.
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)
 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.
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection