Battledores in Patchwork.

(Oshive hago-ita, 押絵羽子板)

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô

1845

Battledores (hago-ita) are rackets used in a game similar to badminton called “battledore and shuttlecock” in English and “hanetsuki” in Japanese.  A shuttlecock (hane) is volleyed back-and-forth without a net.  The game is usually played by women and children.  In this series of prints, heroic women and children from history and legend are pictured on battledores.  This series is not listed in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982), but it is listed in the book’s privately published supplement as S35a.  The prints are each about 14 by 5 inches (36 by 13 centimeters), a size known as chûtanzakuban.

 

Character: Kwaidô Maru (the boyhood name of Sakata no Kintoki)

Robinson: S35a.1

 

Character: Yama-uba (mother of Kwaidô Maru)

Robinson: S35a.2

 

Title: O-Kane from Ômi (Ômi no O-Kane, 近江のお鈊)

Character: O-Kane (Kane-jo) the strong woman of Ômi Province

Robinson: S35a.3

 

Character: The poetess Shûshiki (秋色) holding a roll of paper and looking over one shoulder

Robinson: S35a.4

 

Another state of the above print

 

Character: Hako-ô Maru (箱王丸), the childhood name of Soga Gorô Tokimune

Robinson: unlisted

 

Character: Ushiwaka Maru (the boyhood name of Yoshitsune)

Robinson: unlisted

 

Information courtesy of Richard Illing

 

A modern hago-ita (battledore) and a modern hane (shuttlecock)

“Robinson” refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.

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