Kunisada: Tattooed actor grasping a tree trunk. Crocodile Junkichi: Ichikawa Kodanii (Wani no Junkichi: Ichikawa Kodanji).
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada
Title: Tattooed actor grasping a tree trunk. Crocodile Junkichi: Ichikawa Kodanii (Wani no Junkichi: Ichikawa Kodanji).
Series: A Modern Suikoden (Kinsei Suikoden)
The actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV in the role of Wanino Junsuke. His tattoo features a ferocious sea serpent in the waves. If he is indeed playing a role for a modernized Suikoden, these outlaw-heroes were known for their extensive tattooing, being bandits who lived according to their own rules. Kinsei Suikoden is based on the story of Tenpô Suikoden, which believed to be written by Muroi Kinryô, a story teller, in the style of Chinese Suikoden after the incident of Sasagawa Shigezô in 1844. It became also a Kabuki play. In this series of Ukiyo-e the protagonists of the Kabuki play are depicted by Kunisada, and the story is written by Kanagaki Robun. Here Junkichi, a son of Aritaya Inn in town of Matsugishi in Province Shimofusa (present north Chiba and a part of Ibaragi Prefectures) was a strong young man and liked to wrestle a sumo game. He became a pupil of famous kendô swardmanship teacher, Kazama Harutsuna and had almost reached successfully to receive a license. However Junkichi fell in love with a younger sister of his teacher’s wife and was expelled by the master. Junkichi returned his home town and spent time as a senkaku, a knight of the town and helped the weak and impressed the strong. One day a sumo wrestler Kujirayama Ryûzaemon from Choshi city came to town and competed. Watching Ryûzan throwing out every one of them, Junkichi could not resist to challenge to him. Junkichi threw him out of dohyô ring. After this heroic game, people named Junkichi “ Crocodile Junkichi”. To people’s dismay, however, he had a habit of getting into a drunken frenzy and was then expelled from one town to the other. Since he heard that the big boss Sutegorô in Ioka was in danger, he moved to Ioka. Robun closes the story, saying he gained a shining reputation there. Kabuki actor Ichikwa Kodanji was portrayed in aragoto antagonist’s hair style and make-up as well as a tatoo of a crocodile in water.
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Some trimming, left, and minor wormage. Some minor soiling.
Publisher: Ise-ya Kanekichi
Signature: kio Toyokuni ga