Miscellaneous Chûshingura prints

 

In 1702, Lord Asano of Akô was provoked by Kira Kozukenosuke Yoshinaka into drawing his sword in the shogun’s palace, for which he was forced to take his own life, and his estate was confiscated.  Forty-seven of Lord Asano’s retainers, who were now rônin (samurai without masters), planned, and carried out a successful attack on Kira’s palace.  Kira’s head was cut off with the same dagger Lord Asano used to commit seppuku.  (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 act.).  The 46 surviving rônin were forced to take their own lives.  These events were made into the play, Kanadehon Chûshingura.

 

Kuniyoshi - (triptych) Actor as Oboshi Yuranosuke in Chûshingura

 

Series:

Robinson:

Date: c. 1850-1

Publisher: Tanba-ya Hanjirô

Actor:

Role: Ôboshi Yuranosuke

Kuniyoshi - Chûshingura, oban of Yoichibei's Home,

Series: Untitled ôban series

Robinson: Not listed

Date:

Publisher:

Actor:

Role: In Yoichibei’s home, Konami kneeling with Rikiya standing before a screen in Act II

Kuniyoshi - Scene from the Chushingura

Series:

Robinson:

Date:

Publisher: Izumi-ya Ichibei

Actor:

Role:

Kuniyoshi - (ôban) 8737

Series: The print is numbered seven within a circle ()

Date:

Publisher: Idzutsu-ya Shôkichi

Actor:

Role: Ôboshi Yuranosuke (left) and Moronao (right)

Kuniyoshi - Scene from the Tale of the 47 Ronin (Chûshingura)

Series: The print is inscribed “ro” () which indicates number two in hiragana order

Date:

Publisher:

Actor:

Roles: Ôboshi Rikiya Yoshikane (right), Ôboshi Yuranosuke Yoshio (standing center) and Shikamatsu Kanroku Yukishige (far left)

Act 5, Ono no Sadakurô robbing Yoichibei, 1849-1852 (censors Hama and Magome)

Series:

Date: 1849-1852 (censors Hama and Magome)

Publisher:

Roles: Ono no Sadakurô robbing Yoichibei in Act 5

9

Text: Kana copybook of the Chûsingura, Act 10 (仮名手本忠臣蔵, 十段目)

Play: Kanadehon Chûshingura

Date:

Theater:

Publisher:

Series: Biographies of the Heroines of the Chûshingura (忠臣蔵烈女傳)

Description: Takebayashi Sadahichi Takashige no haha (mother of Takashige, left) and Enya Takasada no shitsu Kaoyo-gozen (wife of Enya Hangan, right)

Date: 1847-1848 (censors Hama and Kinugasa)

Size: Ôban, the sheet is about 10 by 14 inches (25 by 36 centimeters)

Publisher: Yamato-ya Kyûbei

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this image.

 

“Robinson” refers to listing of the series in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961). 

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