Kiyochika: Humorous Double Chuban
Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika
Title: Humorous Double Chuban
Date: 1895 (Meiji 28)
Two humorous scenes that appear unrelated. Above, a young boy tugs at the armor of a large samurai as a delighted granny-looking woman looks on. Below we can see the humor in a fierce group of heavily bearded warriors (Chinese, perhaps?) arriving at a Japanese barbershop. The looks on the two Japanese barbers say it all; one has hidden under his chair. It is interesting to note the red-and-white striped barber pole outside of the shop in addition to the western-looking bottles and chair that are a part of their business in 1895. This print was incorporated into a sugoroku game board, with some additions that were added in red, presumably with seals. The subtitle for this work is “Asa(h)ina at a local wrestling match” (Asia(h)ina kusatoribiki). Asahina was a strong samura who lived during the Kamakura Period, and legend tells of him visiting an island of Lilliputians. Here a small boy who is dressed for sumo tugs had him, so this must be the comparison to his travels. The lower caption subtitle reads something like “?mon no Kagebo-shi”, referring to soldiers at the meeting at Ko gate. Perhaps shadow figures refers to a ghost army.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Publisher: Fukada Hatsujiro
Literature: Unknown series