Kunisada: The Bloodied Ghost of Koheiji Triptych
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)
Title: The Ghost of Koheiji from the play Kaidan Kohada Koheiji
Date: 1853, 9th month
From the play “Kaidan Kohada Koheiji”, we see the ghost of Koheiji, covered in blood and holding a small child as he speaks to Bando Hikosaburo IV (as Adachi Sakuro) 安達左九郎. Koheiji was murdered in a swamp by his wife’s lover, Adachi, and here he has returned as a yurei to torment him. He emanates from a signboard at far right, his ghost appearing from the top of the print again at left. A lamp that was being carried has been dropped in surprise. The actor Koheiji was renowned for his skill at portraying ghosts, and the actor himself was said to have been murdered and then returned as a ghost to haunt his killer.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (37.2 x 76.5 cm)
Publisher: Yamamotoya Hiekichi (Eikyudo)
Literature: See the Waseda University Museum archives online.
Signature: Toyokuni ga