Hearst Museum Portal


Museum number:
Alternate number:
3-9 (original number), 4-101 (original number), and 5-67 (original number)
Accession number:
Object count:
Netsuke in wood, of a man, with long sad and austere face, scratched with sorrow and sin. Endo Morito.
Estate of Geraldine C. and Kernan Robson
Collection place:
Culture or time period:
Geraldine C. Robson
Collection date:
before 1940
Wood (plant material)
Person depicted:
Endo Morito
Object type:
2.2 Personal Adornments and Accoutrements
Accession date:
Context of use:
Toggle to be attached to the end of a cord and thrust through the sash of a kimono for the support of a purse, pouch or lacquer box.
Cat. 9 - Asia (incl. Russia east of Urals)
height 7.8 centimeters
Per Accession File: "Kill me, with this dagger," said Lady Kinugawa to Kesa-Gozen, her married daughter. "For I would rather die at your hands than of anyone else." Lady Kesa-Gozen was the wife of Wataru Minamoto, a court-warrior. She had a beautiful face with which Endo Morito was charmed. Endo visited Lady Kinugawa, her mother, and forced her to promise to give her married daughter was a wife to him. "It is my duty, mother," Said Lady Kesa-Gozen, "to save you. Leave the matter in my hands." "I will obey you on the one condition that you do away with my husband." Lady Kesa said calmly Endo, who came to demand her in marriage. She saw nothing could dissuade him from his sinister deed-- should she refuse. "Come into the bed chamber and take the head that you will find has wet hair." That evening lady Kesa-Gozen gave a special dinner dinner to her husband, and on the pretense that she wished to show her gratitude for the recovery of a protracted illness of her mother. Wataru was much more drunk than usual and she helped him to bed. Then she washed her own hair and went to bed a little apart from her husband. That night, Morito stole in, and cut off the head that he felt, in the dark, had wet hair. But looking at it, he realized that it was his love's head and not Wataru's that he had taken. So he went to Wataru and confessed everything, asking him to avenge his wife's death by killing him, on the spot. "What good would it be were I to kill you," Wataru said, "when my wife is gone and never to come back again." Then Wataru advised Morito to take the tonsure and become a Buddhist priest in order to devote himself to devote himself to it and pray for the dead spirit of Lady Kesa-Gozen, whom he had murdered by mistake. Morito followed the advice of his wronged friend and converted to Buddhism, under the priestly name of Mongaku. Priest Mongaku was an adviser of Lord Yoritomo, the first Shogun, and he traveled on pilgrimages-- in different provinces where he caused many a ruined temple to be restored-- though, later he was exiled to the island of Sado, where he starved to death by refusing to take anything to eat.
Legacy documentation: