Kuniyoshi 国芳: Princess Shiranui Fighting Two Bandits as she Prepares to Carry out a Ceremonial Curse (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 国芳 (1797-1861)

Title: Princess Shiranui Fighting Two Bandits as she Prepares to Carry out a Ceremonial Curse

Series: Mirror of Warriors of Our Country (Honchô musha kagami, 本朝武者鏡)

Date: 1855

Princess Shiranui has been attacked by bandits at night, but she definitely has the situation under control. With her left arm she holds a bandit in a choke hold, and she steps with her sandal onto the neck of a second, who has fallen to the ground and now must deal with her upraised mallet. She lightly steps on his oversized axe, rendering the two men helpless at the same time. We can presume that she was in the process of carrying out Ushi no toki mairi, an “ox-hour shrine” visit, whereby she would lay a curse upon a target during the hour of the ox, which was between 1 and 3 am. She is dressed in white and wearing the tripod of candles on her head; she carries the hammer that would drive nails through the effigy that she has hurriedly stuffed in her mouth as she was set upon, and behind her is an ancient tree that she probably would have nailed the effigy into. The setting would be the grounds of a Shinto shrine. There was a Princess Shiranui who was the daughter of Aso Tadakuni; she became the wife of  Minamoto no Tametomo, the famous archer. 

This is an excellent series that shows both women warriors and supernatural beings, sometimes both in the same design. There are blindprinted patterns in the white of her robe.

Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good condition. Small area of repaired wormage in sky at left.

Dimensions: ôban
Publisher: Tsujioka-ya Bunsuke

Literature: Robinson number S87.7.
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga