Kunisada: Tattoed Dojin in Frog Nest
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada
Title: Tattoed Dojin in Frog Nest
Date: 1852 (Rat 7)
Senso Dôjin sits in a magic frog nest, center, gesturing to his right with a tattooed forearm. It is nighttime, and a snake and a slug crawl in the foreground. From left we see Iwai Kumesaburo III in the role of Kairiki Otsuna; Ichikawa Ebizo V in the role of Senso Dojin and Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in the role of Jiraiya. Each character practiced a different type of magic; she practiced slug magic, Jiraiya practiced frog magic, and Senso Dojin specialized in snake magic. The smaller toad lower center holds a skull in its mouth and has a mystical flame emanating near its head. From the play Jiraiya goketsu monogatari. During their training Senso Dôjin tells them a story about a Chinese wise man named Kan'inshi whom he quotes as saying that "A toad is more powerful than a slug, a slug is more powerful than a snake, and a snake is more powerful than a toad. When all three meet none can be the victor. Such a relationship is called sansukumi (Triangular Balance of power). Senso Dôjin teaches them a special way to get over this hurdle and defeat the sorcery of the Giant Snake as practiced by the evil Orochimaru. This is one of the best Kunisada triptychs with the subject of this play from 1852, when the play debuted.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban triptych
Publisher: Ebisuya Shoshichi
Literature: N86, ritsu 006-0926ff MFA online.
Seal: Watanabe, Mera (censors)
Signature: Toyokuni ga