Seated Portrait of Minamoto Yoritomo (Presumed)

Kamakura period, 13th-14th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

This seems to be an image of Minamoto Yoritomo, which was possessed by Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura. It wears an eboshi (a type of headgear worn by court nobles) and hunting clothes and sits cross-legged. This is a smaller-than-life image as the height from the bottom to the top of the eboshi is about 70cm and 50cm to the top of the head. There remain two images in Kamakura that are similar to this one in appearance and size: the image of Hojo Tokiyori at Kenchoji Temple and the image of Uesugi Shigefusa at Meigetsuin Temple. The starched stiff clothing and the cross-legged sitting posture may have been modeled after the portraits of court nobles that were popular at the time. This image seems to have been created during the period from the late thirteenth century (after the creation of Shigefusa and Tokiyori images) to the early fourteenth century (100 years after the death of Yoritomo).Although it is not true-to-life, it still shows the noble dignity of the head of a warrior family. This image of Minamoto Yoritomo had been enshrined at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, a symbol of a warrior town of Kamakura and worshiped by many samurai. It is said that when Toyotomi Hideyoshi visited Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, he talked to the image of Yoritomo while patting it on its shoulder.


  • Title: Seated Portrait of Minamoto Yoritomo (Presumed)
  • Date Created: Kamakura period, 13th-14th century
  • Physical Dimensions: h903.1 mm
  • Object Title: 伝源頼朝坐像
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 鎌倉の鶴岡八幡宮(つるがおかはちまんぐう)に伝来した源頼朝とみられる像。烏帽子(えぼし)を戴き、狩の服装で両脚を倒し、あぐらに似た形ですわる。像の高さは烏帽子の頂でほぼ70センチ。頭頂ではおよそ50センチで等身よりかなり小さい像である。姿形、大きさが共通する像が鎌倉に2軀(北条時頼<ほうじょうときより>像・建長寺<けんちょうじ>、上杉重房<うえすぎしげふさ>像・明月院<めいげついん>)がある。糊がきいた強装束(こわしょうぞく)のような衣、両脚を倒したすわりかたは、当時流行していた貴族の肖像画を手本にしたものであろう。この像は重房、時頼像より遅れる13世紀後半から14世紀はじめごろ頼朝の没後100年ほど過ぎてつくられたとみられる。 真に迫るものではないが、武家の棟梁(とうりょう)にふさわしい気品が備わっている。源頼朝像は、武家の都鎌倉のシンボルである鶴岡八幡宮に鎌倉時代からまつられ武士の礼拝を受けてきた。豊臣秀吉は鶴岡八幡宮に参拝したとき、頼朝像の肩をたたきながら話しかけたと伝えられている。
  • Object Date: 鎌倉時代・13~14世紀
  • Medium(Japanese): 木造、彩色、玉眼
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100430
  • Medium: Wood with polychromy and inlaid crystal eyes

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps