Kunisada: Tattoed actor with bamboo poles

Utagawa Kunisada

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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada
Title: Tattoed actor with bamboo poles
Series: A Modern Suikoden (Kinsei Suikoden)
Date: 1861

The actor Nakamura Fukusuke II in the role of Kasegawa Higezo (Sasagawa no Higezô). As 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. The text tells: Along the southern Sasagawa River at Tone in Province Shimofusa (present north Chiba and a part of Ibaragi Prefecture) lived Higezô as kyôkaku knight of town, helping the weak and impressing the strong. He was a samurai with the name Inase but for some reasons hid himself as a lordless swordsman. From his early childhood he was strong. He was adopted by Kisaburô of the same town, an elder senkaku knight of town. Meantime Higezô was established and gained many followers. In Ioka, however, the big boss Sutegorô felt threatened by him and avoided the confrontation with Higezô. As the fight became unavoidable Sutegorô planned an intrigue, using his follower, Rinzô of Narita and wouded Higezô to death along the side of the Sasagawa River. Robun closes the story, saying how sad it is. Kabuki actore Nakamura Fukusuke is portrayed with dragon tatoo.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: chûban
Publisher: Ise-ya Kanekichi
Signature: Toyokuni ga

SKU: KUS314


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