Kunisada: Ronin Holding Lantern and Lance

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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)
Title:  Sawamura Tanosuke III as Oishi Chikara Yoshikane  大石主税良兼 沢村田之助 以下略

Series: Stories of the Faithful Samurai 誠忠義士伝 (Seichu Gishi Den)

Date: 1864

Sawamura Tanosuke III as Oishi Chikara Yoshikane. In this series, kabuki actors are portrayed as one of the 47 Ronin, each dressed in the harlequin-like outfits that the masterless samurai donned for their famous night attack of vengeance against Lord Kira in the Chushingura tales.  In this series they are “counted” by the kana syllabary, and this is the Syllable Ro, showing Sawamura Tanosuke III as Oishi Chikara Yoshikane. Tanosuke was most famed for their female roles, and here we see the femininity of their features as they hold up a lantern and shoulder a lance. Oishi Chikara led the group of ronin who broke into the back of Kira’s house on the night of the attack. He was the son of Oishi Kuranosuke Yoshio, the ronin who led the attack.

Kunisada signed this with pride with his age, seventy-nine, which ended up being his final year of his life. Beautifully printed.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Small discoloration on censor’s seal, otherwise mint. With deluxe mica added to the sky.

Dimensions: ôban (36.5 x 24.5 cm)   Publisher: Daikokuya Kinzaburô

Signature:  Seventy-nine-year-old Toyokuni hitsu