府中 彫剛 “日本武尊”




This is a truly powerful munewari masterpiece, in which Yamatotakeru no Mikoto, wielding the Kusanagi sword with brave expression in his face, confronts a dragon that is extensively depicted surround the back from thighs to flanks and shoulders.

As well as its power, the intricate patterns of kimono are breathtakingly beautiful. Although the hemp leaf pattern did not exist in ancient era, it was used at the request of the client. The front and arms are covered only with sakura-fubuki (flurry of cherry blossom), conveying the charm of gaku (background of irezumi).



Yamatotakeru no Mikoto is an ancient Japanese imperial family member and a legendary hero of great wisdom and courage, as told in the story of “Nihon Shoki” and “Kojiki”. He dedicated himself to defeat the powerful clans and raging gods of various regions for pacifying Japan.

There is no episode in the lore that appear to fight against a dragon, but it could be seen as a metaphor for those powerful clans and gods, or as a way to compare the fierce flames of the fire attack in Sagami Province which is told in the lore to a dragon. As an aside, Ototachibana Hime who is a popular motif for irezumi is his consort.

※府中 彫剛氏のインタビュー記事はこちら
※See Fuchu Horigou’s interview here

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