Japanese nobori banner, hand painted (dyed) with samurai Yoshinaka (Kiso no) and Tomoe Gozen, a woman warrior. Dimensions: 15 3/4" wide and 147 1/2" long. Hand woven soft cotton with hand spun yarn. Early 1900s. Excellent condition but please expect some minor stains because of the age. It may hang better without the side handles on the wall.
Yoshinaka is a member of the Minamoto family (Genji) from the late Heian period (794-1185). He was raised on the mountain of Shinano (Nagano today) under the guardianship of a powerful local clan after his father was killed. Tomoe Gozen was said to be the daughter of his guardian.
When Prince Mochihito sent a message to the members of the Minamoto family (in hiding) in 1180 to rise against the Taira clan (Heike) who was in power at the time, Yoshinaka responded by raising an army. Tomoe Gozen followed and fought with her lover. They won the battle against the Heike, took control over the capital, Kyoto, but were later defeated by his cousin, Yoritomo (Minamoto no) who became the first Kamakura shogun (1192). When the end was near in their losing battle, Yoshinaka convinced Tomoe to escape. While she exit, Tomoe made a farewell gift to her lover; she chopped off the head of the enemy’s general. She was said to be a beautiful woman with long hair in a petite figure, and was also a brave warrior as well.