Jidai ori Muromachi nishiki (Woven brocade cloth of the Muromachi period: 時代織室町錦繡) appears to be one of many adaptations based on actual events involving the life of the general Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-98), who ruled much of Japan by 1585, nearly unifying the country by the end of 1591. These jidaimono ("period pieces" or historical dramas: 時代物) are categorized as Taikôki mono ("plays about the taikô," Hideyoshi's self-selected title as ruler: 太閤記物 or 太閣記物). "Konoshita" (given here as このした藤吉), a variant of another of his names, Kinoshita, is a dramaturgical alias for Hideyoshi, as Edo-period playwrights were forced by censorship edicts to disguise the real names of historical personages connected with the ruling samurai families. Quite a number of the Taikôki mono also included additional scenes featuring the notorious outlaw Ishikawa Goemon (石川 五右衛門 1558-94). The historical Hideyoshi was a brilliant strategist for Oda Nobunaga (織田信長 1534-82), winning several key campaigns. Upon Nobunaga's death in 1582, Hideyoshi tracked down the turn-coat general Akechi Mitsuhide (明智光秀 1528-82), who was responsible for the defeat and death of Nobunaga, killing Akechi and taking over Oda's armies.
The silver- and gold-color metallics are very well preserved in this impression. The tarnishing (de-oxidation) in the background is typical of these high-quality productions from Osaka printers of the mid-nineteenth century.
References:HSH, p. 33, no. 122