Mirror of the Faithful Samurai and Loyal Retainers

(Gishi chűshin kagami, 義士忠臣鑑)

Publisher: Shimizu-ya Naojirô

1848

The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.

 

Scene: Aibara Esuke Munefusa seizing a half-naked ruffian by the throat

Robinson: S59.1

 

Scene: Fuwa Katsuemon Masatane (不破勝右衛門正種) on one knee with his hand on his sword shielding a child behind him

Robinson: S59.2

 

Scene: Hayano Kampei Yoshitoshi (早野勘平義利) seated with his sword drawn about to perform seppuku

Robinson: S59.3

 

NOTE: The term “hara-kiri”, although more common in English than “seppuku”, is considered in Japan to be a vulgar and disrespectful description of an honorable action.

 

 

Scene: Ôboshi Rikiya Yoshikane seated with his chest exposed holding a sword near its tip about to perform seppuku

Robinson: S59.4

 

Scene: Sumino Chűheiji Tsugifusa on one knee reading a long letter by lamplight

Robinson: S59.5

 

Scene: Takebayashi Sadashichi Takashige (竹林定七隆重) seated with clenched fists looking over his shoulder with a hat and bundles behind him

Robinson: S59.6

 

Scene: Yata Jiroemon Sukeake leaning back with a smoking gun having just shot a fox

Robinson: S59.7

 

Image courtesy of John Teramoto and the Indianapolis Museum of Art

 

Scene: Yatô Yomoshichi Norikane (矢當與茂七教兼) standing by a bucket and wiping his sword on a cloth which is attached to a tube containing sprigs of the sacred evergreen sakaki

Robinson: S59.8

“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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