Kuniyoshi: 47 Ronin in Council in Their Lord’s Palace

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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
Title: 47 Ronin in Council in Their Lord’s Palace
Date: 1851

Gishi Hyoju no zu 義士評定之図. The 47 Ronin in Council in Their Lord’s Palace. Cutaway aerial view of the 47 Ronin coming together to discuss their plans at what must be their late lord’s palace in Ako. This scene must have happened immediately following their lord’s death, as they took care to never gather together in a prominent way to avoid suspicion of vendetta planning until they carried out their revenge attack two years later. We see a stream of samurai lining the outer gate and more arriving by palanquin. Only one Ronin is identified in the outer crowd; the man seen in the palanquin at lower right. We see townsfolk lined up at upper right; this must be related to the events of the day. The story of the revenge of the Forty-Seven Ronin is one of the most legendary vendettas in Japanese history, which is saying a lot. The lightly fictionalized accounts as told in books and plays are known as Chushingura, so Kuniyoshi was obliged at this time to portray the fictionalized telling of the tale, with the names of the involved parties all identified by pseudonyms.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (36.8 x 75 cm)
Publisher: Enshu-ya Hikobei
Literature: Robinson T273
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga with his paulownia seal