Kuniyoshi: Warrior Inaue Daikuro Masatada with Hand Cannon (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
Title: Inaue Daikuro Masatada 稲上大九郎正忠 / [Inoue Daikurô Nagayoashi]
Series: Taiheiki Eiyû den (Heroes of the Grand Pacification) 太平記英勇傳
Date: c. 1848

Inaue Daikuro Masatada 稲上大九郎正忠 / [Inoue Daikurô Nagayoashi] is shown one one knee holding an unusual firearm, perhaps a hand cannon, one so heavy that an ordinary person would struggle to lift it. He seems to be in the midst of battle, with smoke floating out from the cannon muzzle, presumably after firing towards the enemy. His hair is also standing on end, hinting at the weapon’s recoil, and leaves from an unseen tree drift down, also presumably from the force of the blast. The copious script at top has been translated in Elena Varshavskaya’s “Heroes of the grand pacification” book; it details the exploits and formidable strength of this hero. Here a large peony flower rests at the bottom, and the fence next to him is decorated with a pomegranate; both of these are considered hints that this battle is being fought in China. His battle standard features a fearsome skull emblem. One of the best, most dramatic designs in this series, and the condition is better than the example shown in the above publication. 

Condition: Excellent impression and color; very good condition. With extensive woodgrain on the weapon, and bokashi on the smoke, indicating a very early impression.
Dimensions: ôban (36.7 x 24.5 cm)
Publisher: Yamamoto Heikichi (Ekyûdo)
Literature: See “Heroes of the Grand Pacification” by Elena Varshavskaya, figure 47, page 134 . Robinson (1982) S62.16. Bidwell (1980) number 180. See British Museum.
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga