Kuniyoshi: Tattooed Fishseller Danshichi

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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
Title: Tattooed Fishseller Danshichi, Station Urawa
Series: Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô Road
Date: 5/1852

The impressively tattooed fishseller Danshichi (Uoya Danshichi Kurobei) rinses the mud from his body with a pail of well-water. He rests one leg on the frame of the well. We see his sword resting against the well and his checkered kimono on the ground. Behind him are mud flats, and beyond them we see the Kôzu Shrine festival parade taking place. In the kabuki play based on this incident, Danshichi rescues the heroine and murders her evil father-in-law. He then melts into the festival crowd to make his escape. This is number 4, Station Urawa. Note the variety of sealife surrounding the cartouche, which indicates the occupation of Danshichi.

This work is exceptionally printed, with the effect of the water flowing over the tattooed torso being uniquely conveyed.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Two minor hinging remnants, verso.
Dimensions: ôban (36.3 x 24.5 cm)
Publisher: Sumiyoshiya Masagorô
Literature: See Sarah Thompson’s “The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô”, figure 17, page 50. Heroes and Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi 1797-1861, p. 105.. See MFA, British Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art online collections.
Seal: kiri
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga