Sixteen Stories of Musashi-b Benkei

(Jroku Musashi-b Benkei, 十六武蔵坊)

Publishers: Jsh-ya Kinz and Daikoku-ya Heikichi

c. 1848-1850

 

Musashi-b Benkei was a warrior-monk who served Yoshitsune. The former was known as Oniwaka Maru in childhood. In spite of the title of this series, Robinson only described six designs, and it is unlikely that any more exist. The series may have been inspired by Bakins novel Sixteen New Stories of Musashib (新研十六武蔵坊), which was published in 1804. The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ban.

 

Kuniyoshi -  16 Stories of Musashi-bo Benkei (S68

 

Scene: Oniwaka beating two young monastery acolytes, with an unwound scroll of text draped over him

Publisher: Jsh-ya Kinz

Robinson: S68.1

 

I am grateful to Andrea Casati for this alternate state of the above design with a blue title cartouche and no publishers seal

 

No image available

 

Scene: Oniwaka shaving his head

Publisher:

Robinson: S68.2

 

NOTE: Robinsons description of S68.2 seems odd, as the description could also apply to S68.4.

 

 

Scene: Oniwaka and the monster carp

Publisher: Jsh-ya Kinz

Robinson: S68.3

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this image.

 

Another state of the above design with a yellow title cartouche and no publishers seal

Kuniyoshi -  16 Stories of Musashi-bo Benkei (S68

 

Scene: Oniwaka, with a partially shaved head, holding a straight razor and looking down a well with a whetstone and a hank of hair on the ground

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Robinson: S68.4

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this alternate state of the above design.

Kuniyoshi -  16 Stories of Musashi-bo Benkei (S68

 

Scene: Benkei and a leaping magic fox in the snow

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Robinson: S68.5

Kuniyoshi -  16 Stories of Musashi-bo Benkei (S68

 

Scene: Benkei in formal robes seizing Tosa-b Shshun by the back of his neck

Publisher: Jsh-ya Kinz

Robinson: S68.6

 

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

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN PAGE

 

KuniyoshiProject