Kuniyoshi: Tattooed Hayakawa Ayunosuke (大板ヲ持) Creating a Fish Trap (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Title: Hayakawa Ayunosuke (大板ヲ持) holding back a torrent of water
Series:Ten Warriors of Amago (Amago jû shi-den, 厄子十士傳)
Date: 1854

Hayakawa Ayunosuke uses his great strength to push a wooden wall to create a one-man weir to trap ayu, a sweetfish that is a summer favorite of the Japanese. We can see the fish collecting in the basket at left, almost as if they are jumping into it. Kuniyoshi created a similar design of this Suikoden hero in about 1830 as part of his first blockbuster Suikoden (Chinese Heroes of the Water Margin) series. The muscled hero bears a large tattoo of a dragon and waves on his upper body. Kuniyoshi’s storytelling has only strengthened in the intervening years; here we see four men on the far bank raising their arms in incredulity, and we also see a row of fish nets along the shore. This also relates to the story, as apparently Ayunosuke was too poor to afford fishing nets, but he was strong and stubborn enough to catch fish with this unique method. This extremely scarce design is unlisted in Robinson; although the series title would indicate that ten print were planned, only two designs are known.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. With printer's crease lower right. Backed.
Dimensions: ôban (36.3 x 25 cm)
Publisher: Sano-ya Tomigoro
Literature: Unlisted in Robinson
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga