A Mirror of Famous Commanders of Great Japan: Saohime Perishes in Flames
(Dai Nippon meisho kagami: Saohime)
signed oju Yoshitoshi hitsu, with artist's seal Taiso, and publisher's date and address sealMeiji jusannen, nigatsu; Higashifukudacho 2-banchi, shuppanjin Funazu Chujiro (Meiji 13 , February) of Funazu Chujiro of Kinjudo, 1880
Between 1876 and 1882, Yoshitoshi produced fifty-one prints for this ambitious series depicting stories of famous warriors from history and legends. The story of Imperial Princess Saohime is found in the Nihon Shoki, a history of Japan dating to the 7th and 8th centuries. Saohime was married to Emperor Suinin (69 BC- 70 AD) when she learned of a plot by her brother, Saohiko, to overthrow imperial rule. Loyal to the Emperor, she warned her husband who sent Kamitsukenu no Yasunada and his men to attack Saohiko at his residence where they set up a barricade of rice-straw bales. Regretting the betrayal of her brother, Saohime managed to get past the barrier and was trapped inside when Yasunada set the fire to the barricade. Saohiko and Saohime, brother and sister, perished together in the conflagration.
Roger Keyes, Courage and Silence, 1983, p. 415 no. 334.39
Shinichi Segi, Yoshitoshi the Splendid Decadent, 1985, pp. 46-47, no. 19
Eric van den Ing & Robert Schaap, Beauty and Violence, 1992, p. 116 (illus.), p. 118, no. 27.39
Yuriko Iwakiri, Yoshitoshi, 2014, p. 74, no. 107
(inv. no. 10-5339)
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
October 21, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...