Posted 2 years ago
Large late 18th c. Japanese wood carving of the heroic samurai Watanabe no Tsuna fighting the demon Ibakari at the Rashomon Gate in Kyoto. This intricate piece carved from a single block of Japanese cypress was likely a wall decoration for a social house, samurai training school or theater. Very rare. Dimensions: 37.5" x 32.5" x 6”. Weight ~85 lbs.
According to legend in the late 10th century of Heian Period Japan, Ibaraki, a notorious Oni, resided at the Rashomon Gate in Kyoto. Ibaraki harassed people who tried to pass through to Rashomon Gate until a heroic samurai named Watanabe no Tsuna, a loyal retainer of Minamoto no Raiko, went to subdue the cruel Ibaraki. When Tsuna arrived at the Rashomon Gate he was attacked by Ibaraki. However, Tsuna was a strong and valiant swordsman who was able to defend himself against the ferocious attack by the oni Ibaraki. The battle raged on until Tsuna drew his katana and severed the arm of the demon.