Sanjō Sanetomi from the series

Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times, 1942

by Arai Shōri

IHL Cat. #2414


Sanjō, a central figure in the Sonnōjōi Movement ("revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians"), is shown fleeing to Chōshū along with six other noblemen (known as the "Seven nobles of decline," shichikyō-ochi) in 1863 in the aftermath of a coup d’etat at the imperial court which expelled members of the Sonnōjōi Movement and forced the emperor to stop his efforts to reassert authority over the shōgunate. Sanjō took shelter in the more sympathetic Chōshū domain in western Honshū. 

Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times

The eleven extant prints comprising the seemingly incomplete series Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times depict figures active in the mid/late Edo era and early Meiji era who displayed great loyalty to the Emperor and, thereby, the nation. Issued in 1942 when the war in the Pacific was raging, the patriotic theme of these prints was clear. Nine of the eleven extant prints portray a famous incident or anecdote in a Great Loyalist's life and two prints deal specifically with the 1860 assassination of the shōgunate's Chief Minister Ii Naosuke (1815-1860). Each print was issued in a folder which also contained a written commentary. 

Print Details

Thirty Great Loyalists #2414

artist signature and seal

勝利 (Shōri) 

seal reading 勝 (Shō) 

copyright notice


seal of the Society for the Promotion of Loyalist Culture


lseal reading sekioka saku the meaning of which is unknown


Artist Profile

Arai Shōri 新井勝利 (1895-1972) - Japanese-style (yamato-e) painter who specialized in historical painting. Born in present day Chuo ward in Tokyo, his was father was an art dealer. He studied Japanese-style painting under Kajita Hanko 梶田半古 (1870-1917) and later under Yasuda Yukihiko 安田靫彦 (1884-1978), an important figure in nihonga (a modern Japanese style of painting). In 1915 he became a researcher 研究員 at the Nihon bijutsuin 日本美術院  (Japan Fine Art Academy; a.k.a. Japan Art Institute) and in 1941 he became a member, later serving as a trustee. During the war he worked as a military painter going to the major war theaters, including accompanying the naval task force sent to attack Pearl Harbor. Following the war, he taught at the Soshin Girl’s School and Tama Art University.

Sources:;;;; World War II in the Pacific :An Encyclopedia, 1st Edition, ed. Stanley Sandler, Routledge, 2015