Set of Kintarô

(Kintarô zukushi, 金太郎尽)

Publisher: Tsujioka-ya Bunsuke

c. 1840


The name Kintarô literally means Golden Boy.  He was the son of Princess Yaegiri.  Kintarô lived alone in the woods where he talked to the animals.  He was so strong that he could bend trees like twigs and vanquished various monsters.  When he grew up, Kintarô joined with the hero Raikô (Minamoto no Yorimitsu) and became a famous warrior himself.  Kintarô is also known as Kaidômaru and as an adult was called Sakata no Kintoki.  The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.  I am grateful to Robert Pryor for his contributions to this series.



Subtitle: Imitation of Kwanu (Kwanu mitate, 金太郎尽 関羽見立)

Scene: Kintarô poses on a rock as the Chinese general Kanu accompanied by two oni (demons) and holding a book of fairy tales (Mukashi mukashi)

Robinson: S12.1



Subtitle: Picture of Sumô (Sumô no zu, 相撲之圖)

Scene: Kintarô, as a child in Sagami Province, with a demon and a tengu behind him umpiring a wrestling match between a hare and a monkey

Robinson: S12.2


NOTE: Tengu are forest-dwelling creatures that are either human-like with wings and long noses or bird-like.


An alternate state of the above design with the rabbit’s sumô belt being entirely red.


Yet another state

Kuniyoshi - Set of Kintarô (S12


Subtitle: Kintarô and the Demons at Ogres’ Island (Kintarô onigashima asobi, 金太郎鬼ケ嶋遊)

Scene: Kintarô holding an axe is sitting in a portable shrine which is carried on the shoulders of demons wearing festival clothing

Robinson: Not listed



Another state of the above design


Another state of the above design


Subtitle: Monster Extermination (Bakemono taiji, 化物退治)

Scene: Kintarô fighting a three-eyed goblin

Robinson: Not listed


NOTE: This is a hanshita-e (final drawing).


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