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Loan Object
Artist: Yashima Gakutei, Japanese, ca. 1786–ca. 1855

Asahina Storming the Gate (Asahina mon yaburi), from the series Three Stormings (Haitatsu sanban)

1827 (Year of the Boar)

Surimono, shikishi-ban; polychrome woodblock print with brass and silver pigment

sheet: 8 1/4 × 7 3/16 in. (21 × 18.3 cm)
Promised gift of Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, B.A. 1970

八島岳亭 「拝闥三番の内 朝比奈門破り」 江戸時代

Surimono often depict historical and legendary figures. Asahina Saburō (1176–unknown), the warrior with superhuman power who is practically bursting out of the confines of this print, was one of the most popular heroes of this genre. He was a son of General Wada no Yoshimori (1147–1231) and, allegedly, the mighty woman fighter Tomoe Gozen (ca. 1157–1247). In the scene depicted here, Asahina has just broken down the gate of the regent Hōjō Yoshitoki, during the ill-fated rebellion in 1213 that saw the death of his father. Asahina was forced to flee, but he entered into the realm of legend. Because Asahina’s name is closely associated with the sunrise (asahi) and his jolly character with legendary might, he often appears on the front of New Year’s cards commissioned by poetry groups.

Edo period (1615–1868)
Works on Paper - Prints

Collection of Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian.


Joan B. Mirviss and John T. Carpenter, Jewels of Japanese Printmaking: Surimono of the Bunka-Bunsei Era 1804–1830 (Tokyo: Ota Memorial Museum of Art, 2000), 124–25, no. 78.

Sadako Ohki and Adam Haliburton, The Private World of Surimono: Japanese Prints from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2020), 58–60, no. 11, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.