Poem by Kôkô Tennô (Emperor Kōkō):
Tomoe Gozen, from the series Ogura Imitations of One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets (Ogura nazorae hyakunin isshu)
Tomoe Gozen (巴 御前, pronounced [tomo.e]; c. 1157 – 1247) was a late twelfth-century female samurai warrior (onna-bugeisha), known for her bravery. She married Minamoto no Yoshinaka and served him in the Genpei War and was a part of the conflict that led to the first shogunate in Japan.
Her family had strong affiliations with Yoshinaka. Her father, Nakahara Kanetō was a strong supporter of Yoshinaka and also his foster father, who raised him since he was two. Her mother was Yoshinaka's wet nurse. Two of her elder brothers also served Yoshinaka as generals. She is best known for her loyalty and courage at the Battle of Awazu in 1184.
According to epic account written at the beginning of the 14th century, “ Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors.
— The Tale of the Heike
The 108 Heroes of the Popular Suikoden
(Tsûzoku Suikoden gôketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, 通俗水滸傳濠傑百八人一個)
Publisher: Kaga-ya Kichiemon
Japanese name: Sôtôki Sôsei (操刀鬼曹正)
Chinese name: Cao Zheng
Cao Zheng is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels in Chinese literature. Nicknamed "Knife Wielding Demon", he ranks 81st among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 45th among the 72 Earthly Fiends.
Cao Zheng is a butcher from Dongjing (東京; present-day Kaifeng, Henan), the imperial capital of the Song Empire. Due to his excellent skills in butchery, he earns himself the nickname "Knife Wielding Demon". He also learnt martial arts from Lin Chong before when the latter was still the martial arts instructor of the imperial guards. #art#irezumi#Japan#japaneseartist#suikoden#kuniyoshi#samurai#insta_jp#ukiyoe#kabuki#yoshitoshi#japanesetattoo#woodblockprint#stories#legend
361526 November, 2018
Kato Kiyomasa and captives,Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1832
Kiyomasa was one of the three senior commanders during the Seven-Year (Imjin) War (1592–1598) against the Korean Joseon. Together with Konishi Yukinaga, he captured Seoul, Busan and many other cities. He defeated the last of the Korean regulars at the Battle of Imjin River and pacified Hamgyong. The Korean king Seonjo abandoned Seoul before Kiyomasa's forces. Kiyomasa held two Korean princes who had deserted as hostages and used them to force lower-ranking Korean officials to surrender.
Kiyomasa was a renowned castle-builder. During the Imjin war he built several strategic Japanese-style castles in the territories he conquered. Ulsan castle was one of such fortresses and the site of Kiyomasa's most famous battle — the Siege of Ulsan on December 22, 1597. Kiyomasa led the defense of the castle, successfully holding at bay Chinese general Yang Hao's army, which numbered 60,000. He defended the castle until November 23, 1598. However, his bravery was not reported to Hideyoshi by his rival and superior Ishida Mitsunari. Hideyoshi recalled him to Kyōto. After Hideyoshi's death, Kiyomasa clashed with Mitsunari, and started approaching Tokugawa Ieyasu.