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Ban on glorifying samurai in artwork?

 
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hashiba_hideyoshi
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:11 pm    Post subject: Ban on glorifying samurai in artwork? Reply with quote
So I recently came across a number of weirdly-labelled pictures. There's a few where Nobunaga is for whatever reason labelled as "Ota/Oda Harunaga". There's also one where the label says something about Yoshitsune, but the people in the image wears clothing decorated with Oda kamon and Mori kamon, implying that they were supposed to be Nobunaga and Ranmaru.

Someone told me that it's because in Edo era there is a ban on glorifying personages of the Sengoku era, but I cannot find any documentation of such a ban. So if there is a ban, why? And if not, what's the reason for the strange labels? Any help here?
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Not so much a ban on 'glorifying samurai', but the Tokugawa bakufu placed a ban on depictions (whether artwork, plays, novels, etc) of historical figures from about the Sengoku on up (generally to prevent criticism of the Tokugawa). So you'd get depictions of Sengoku/Edo period samurai using names and situations from the Taiheiki or Heike Monogatari, most famously the 47 Ronin. Here's a short bit I wrote in another thread:

"The series "Heroes of the Taiheiki" was a series of prints put out by Kuniyoshi during the late Edo period. It purports to show the heroes of the Nabokucho Wars of the 14th century, but actually shows samurai of the 16th century like Akechi Mitsuhide, Kato Kiyomasa, Konishi, etc. The names had to be changed as the Tokugawa Bakufu would not allow writers and artists to use the names of real historical figures from that period."
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes. A ban on depiction of major samurai figures of late Sengoku and later, which helps prevent (1) criticism of Tokugawa family or shogunate, (2) glorification of Tokugawa enemies, (3) disrespectful depiction of samurai in general.

Like most things in the Edo period, there were times when this was enforced more and less stringently. Unfortunately for Utamaro, he got involved in the game at one of the more stringent times, and was arrested for his unlawful depiction of Hideyoshi flower-viewing with five wives - the artist was placed under house arrest in manacles, and even after his punishment came to an end, he never recovered, and died soon afterwards.

It's sadly quite difficult to find for a reasonable price, but if you should happen to come across a copy of Undercurrents in the Floating World, it's explained more fully in there.
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I personally have prints where Oda Nobunaga is named "Ota Harunaga", and Kato Kiyomasa is named "Sato Masakiyo".

As Ameth said, it wasn't "oh, you can't glorify anyone from the Sengoku Period." You couldn't use actual names because you might be interpreted as glorifying the wrong people, or criticizing the wrong people, so any use was banned.
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