Japanese Print Description
Yoritomo tagging cranes at Yuigahama
Minamoto no Yoritomo was a warrior, and in the 12th century he achieved power that was second only to the emperor. In 1192 he became the first Kamakura Shogun. Among his more notable exploits was the collecting, banding (with gold), and then releasing of 1,000 tancho (red-crowned) Japanese cranes. The primary purpose of the banding was to find out how long cranes lived; according to legend, they lived 1,000 years. It was requested that people who saw banded cranes report—and not harm—them. Some of the cranes were supposedly seen several centuries after Yoritomo’s death.