The drama Sesshû Watanabe-bashi kuyô (摂州渡辺橋供養) was written in 1748 for Osaka bunraku (puppet theater: 文楽 also called ningyô jôruri, 人形淨瑠璃) by Toyotake Chikujennô Shozô (1700-1783) and Asada Itchô (BD?-c. 1763; 浅田一鳥). The plot falls within the genre called Mongaku Shônin mono based on selected tales from the Heike monogatari (Tale of the Heike: 平家物語), involving the epic struggle between the Minamoto (Genji) and Taira (Heike) clans for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century, and the Genpei seisuiki (History of the Rise and Fall of the Genji and Heike: 源平盛衰記) covering the Genpei wars (1160-1185).
The central figure, Mongaku Honshi, appears to be based on the monk Mongaku, in retreat at the Jingo-ji, a Shingon temple in Takao, Kyoto. He is included in the Heike monogatari (Chapter 5, parts 7-8); his lay name was Endô Musha Moritô, son of Watanabe no Endô Sakon-no-shôgen Mochitô. Around 1180 Mongaku exhorted the exiled warrior Minamoto no Yoritomo (源頼朝 1147-1199) to rebel against the ruling Taira clan. Yoritomo became the founder and first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan.
This is one of Yoshitaki's more compelling designs in chûban format from the early 1860s, before the introduction of aniline dyes. The dramatic composition is enhanced by an array of deluxe printing techniques — furikake ("sprinkling" or application of powdered metallics: 振掛), tsuyazuri (lit., "shiny printing: or burnishing: つや摺), fukizumi (lit., "blown ink" or sprayed colorants: 吹墨), and nunomezuri ("cloth pattern printing" or printing with a textile: 布目摺).
References: IKBYS-5, p. 31, no. 108; NKE, p. 155; Helen McCullough (trans.), The Tale of the Heike, Stanford University Press, 1988, pp. 178-179