Shono-Sasaki Takatsuna fording the Uji river by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)

When I say “don’t do this at home,” I’m not talking about taking your horse for a swim. I’m talking about what else is going on in this work of art…

Takatsuna boasts that he will be the first to cross the river to confront the enemy, although Samurai Kajiwara leads the race. ┬áTakatsuna outsmarts him by shouting, “Look out, your horse’s girth is loose,” thereby distracting him. Takatsuna wins.