Kuniyoshi 国芳: Wata Hyoe Hidemori Facing Down Guns (Sold)
Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
Title: Wada: Wata Hyôe
Series: Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô Road 木曾街道六十九次之内
Wada no Hyoe Hidemori swaggers over a curved bridge, his formal trousers trailing as he tugs on the enormous shoulders of his kataginu and glares down at the barrels of four enemy guns pointed towards him. Kuniyoshi combines here his talent for depicting Kabuki actors with his talent for warriors. This scene is from the kabuki play “Ômi Genji senjin yakata”, which tells the true story of the siege of Osaka Castle while disguising it as an earlier historical event. Wada Hyôe Hidemori has been sent into the enemy Moritsuna’s camp. He wears a formal costume rather than armor, and here straightens the shoulders as Moritsuna’s men aim their guns at him. Standing at the top of a curved bridge, many planes of action point towards the main character’s visage, including his fan, his swords, the guns and the lines of his trousers.
Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good condition. Small binding holes near left margin and area of discoloration in title cartouche.
Dimensions: ôban (35.6 x 24.3 cm)
Publisher: Yawataya Sakujirô
Literature: See Sarah Thompson’s “The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô”, figure 29, page 74.
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga