Kuniyoshi: Taira Tadamori and the Oil Thief

  • $675.00
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
Title: Station Toriimoto: Taira Tadamori and the Oil Thief
Series: Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô Road
Date: 6/1852

In this scene from “The Tale of the Heike”, we see Taira Tadamori glaring at a bedraggled man with a straw hat as he seemingly refills the oil in a stone lantern. Tadamori has been ordered to investigate a ghostly figure seen on the grounds of Mido Temple near Kyoto, and he finds that it is only a poor attendant wearing a straw hat who is out at night to refill the oil lanterns. Here we see the moment of discovery, where the suspicious Tadamori sees the bedraggled fellow holding his oil can. In some versions of the story the man is actually a thief who is stealing the oil; this might be the case with this scene. The oil thief seems to be using the lid of his oil pitcher to ladle oil from the lantern into the container he is holding, although at this moment it seems unlikely that he’ll go unpunished. We see surrounding the cartouche the stone lantern, the straw hat and the high sandals that are related to the story. Yoshitoshi also illustrated this scene, as well as Hiroshige, Kiyochika and Kunisada (see KUS483 on this website). This is Station number 64. 

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Unbacked. Some trimming at right and binding holes.
Dimensions: ôban (36 x 24.5 cm)
Publisher: Takadaya Takezô
Literature: See Sarah Thompson’s “The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô”, figure 64, page 144. 
Seal: kiri
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga