2. Ox - Yamamato Kansuke Nyudo Doki, fatally wounded at Kawanakajima, leaning on his spear and resting on a dead horse; river and silhouetted warriors behind.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳
Japanese heroes of the twelve signs 英雄山倭十二士
These are historical pirate flags. Though a few pirate captains did use the Jolly Roger, most used a specific flag of their own. For example, the top one is Blackbeard’s, and is supposed to be a skeleton (death) holding an hourglass (running out of time) and stabbing a bleeding heart (he’s about to kill you?). An hourglass, signaling that the time to surrender was short, and a skeleton or bones, for death, were common elements in pirate flags. The backgrounds were usually red or black. And many pirate ships did not fly under “pirate” flags at all, but would sail under various national flags to get close to merchant vessels without suspicion.
When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
Samurai Warrior Circa 1860
Photograph by Felice Beato
Samurai is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi, and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai followed a set of rules that came to be known as Bushido. While they numbered less than 10% of Japan’s population samurai teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in martial arts such as Kendo, meaning the way of the sword. [Source: Wikipedia]
Epistola de insulis nuper in mari indico repertis, 1494
Christopher Columbus published a letter detailing his “discovery” of the Indies upon his return from his first voyage to the New World, now called Epistola de insulis nuper in mari indico repertis. The woodcut shown above, from a later Latin edition of the letter, is titled “Insula Hyspana”, and shows Spanish ships arriving at the island that Columbus named “La Española,” and which is usually known in English-language historical tradition as Hispaniola. It is probably the first European visual depiction of the indigenous people of the Americas. The ship depicted on the foreground bears no resemblance to the late 15th century carracks in which Columbus sailed to the New World.
From the Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress.