Saturday, October 11, 2014
Fujiwara no Yasumasa (958-1036) was a famous musician at the Heian court. He and his brother, Kidomaru, had parted ways when Kidomaru became an outlaw rather than serve under the powerful warrior Raiko. Playing his flute on the lonely moor of Ichihara while walking home one night, his brother snuck up on him, intent on robbing him of his elegant robe, but enchanted by Yasumasa's beautiful music, he stopped in his tracks. Kidomaru instead followed his brother home, who only then became aware of his presence and happily gave him a robe. Woodblock print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1832-1892), published 1883.