The 108 Heroes of the Suikoden

(Suikoden gôketsu hyaku-hachi-nin, 水滸傳濠傑百八人)

Published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon in 1830 and republished by Iba-ya Sensaburô in 1845


This series of prints is based on stories from the semi-historical Chinese novel, Suikoden (Shuihu zhuan in Chinese).  It tells of the adventures of a band of 108 rebels who sought refuge in the margins of Liangshan Marsh.  These rebel warriors sought to protect the poor and downtrodden, very much like Robin Hood’s band.  The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.                                                                                                          



Clockwise from the top: Kohôgi Sôkô holding a scroll; Chitasei Goyô seated with folded hands; Sôsôshô Tôhei with a spear, grimacing; Daitô Kwanshô with a large glaive; Kokusempû Riki with two axes; Botsuusen Chôsei with a bag of stones; Sôbenshô Koyenshaku with a ribbed staff; Hekirekkwa Shimmei with a spiked mace; and Hyôshitô Rinchû seated with a closed fan

Robinson: S3.1


This print is from the edition republished by Iba-ya Sensaburô in 1845.  Note the different publisher’s seal in the right lower corner.


Clockwise from the top: Shinkigunshi Shubu seated with a feather fan; Chôkanko Chintatsu seated grasping his sword; Kimmôko Yenjun seated with a spiked mace; Waikyakko Ôyei with hand on hip; Ichijôsei Kosanjô (woman) with a glaive; Hakumenrôkun Teitenju with an iron club; Dakoshô Richû seated with a pole; Shôhaô Shûtsû with a spray of leaves; and Hakkwaja Yôshun seated with a spear

Robinson: S3.2


Another state of the above print also published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon


I am grateful to Professor Richard R. Wilk for this variant of the above design.  The cartouche in the right lower corner reads number 8 of 12 sheets (十二枚之内八) instead of number 2 of 12 sheets (十二枚之内二).


Clockwise from the top: Seibokkan Kakushibun with a barbed ring pole-arm; Shûgumba Sensan with a fancifully headed mace; Dokkwasei Kôryô breathing on the blade of a knife; Shutsudôkô Dôi drawing his sword; Hôtenrai Ryôshin with a large gun; Honkôshin Dômô stooping; Kojôsô Jisen with a large bell; Môtôsei Kômei seated clasping his knees; and Hei-ichi (Byô-utsuchi) Sonryû with a scythe-like weapon.

Robinson: S3.3


Another state of the above print also published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon


A version of the above print published in 1845 by Iba-ya Sensaburô


Clockwise from the top: Chinsanzan Kôshin with a big mallet; Kingampyô Shion holding his sword in both hands; Sekishôgun Sekiyû with clenched fists; Heidaichû (Byôtaichû) Setsuyei seated with a pole and a yellow cylinder; Kendôjin Ikuhôshi with bared chest and right arm; Shôsharan Bokushun examining a sword; Dokkakuryô Sûjun with a cloth bag; Shutsurinryô Sûyen pointing at his sword; and Sômonjin Hôkyoku putting on his topcoat

Robinson: S3.4


Another state of the above print also published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon


Clockwise from the top: Shôsempû Saishin seated with an iron club; Seimenjû Yôshi testing the edge of his sword; Sôshiko Raiô, brown-skinned, holding his sword; Kyumonryô Shishin half-naked and tattooed; Kwaoshô Rochishin, brown-skinned, with a long iron club; Sôbikatsu Gaihô with a dead hare on a bamboo pole; Shingyôtaihô Taisô resting his chin on his stick; Ryôtôda Gaichin (Ryôtôja Kaichin) adjusting his leggings; and Bizenkô Shutô seated in contemplation

Robinson: S3.5


This print is from the edition republished by Iba-ya Sensaburô in 1845.  Note the absence of the publisher’s seal of Kaga-ya Kichiyemon on the right edge above the artist’s signature.


Clockwise from the top: Kinsôshu Jonei with a pole and a sickle-like weapon; Shôrikô Kwayei with bow and arrows; Senkwaji Chô-ô wiping his sword; Ryûchitaisai Genshôji with a net and shuttle; Rôrihakuchô Chôjun half-naked and tattooed; Kwatsuyenra Genshôshichi with a basket of fish; Tammeijirô Genshôgo, half-naked and tattooed, twisting a thread round his toe; Kongôryô Rishun holding a helmet and sword; and Bokutenchô Riô with his hand to his sword-hilt

Robinson: S3.6


This is another state of the above print; however, both were published by Kaga-ya Kichiyemon.


Clockwise from the top: Kwachôko Kyô-ô with a spear of curious design; Chûsenko Teitokuson with a long spear and fur-trimmed hat; Tessenshi Sôsei with clasped hands and a bow; Shômenko Shubu smiling and holding up his hands; Kyûbiki Tosô-ô examining his sword; Mochakuten Tosen, in profile, with a spear; Botsumemmoku Shôtei, half-naked, feeling his shoulder; Unrikongô Sôman testing an arrow; and Shinsanshi Shôkei in a tiger’s head helmet with a curly-headed spear

Robinson: S3.7


This print is from the edition republished by Iba-ya Sensaburô in 1845.  Note Sensaburô’s seal on the right edge near the bottom.


Clockwise from the top: Gyokkirin Roshungi seated with an axe; Ju-unryô Kôsonshô, an old man with a small dragon; Kyûsempô Sakuchô in a spiked breastplate; Shameisanrô Sekishû in black with a gong-stick; Gyôja Bushô seated with a large pearl necklace; Byôkwansaku Yôyû seated with a pole; Botsusharan Bokkô with folded arms and a red wig; Sekihakki Ryûtô with right shoulder and chest bare; and Rôshi Ensei, half-naked and tattooed, with a pole surmounted by a ball

Robinson: S3.8


Clockwise from the top: Seisuishô Tanteikei in a spotted coat with frilled collar; Shinkwashô Giteikoku adjusting his sleeve; Hyakushôshô Kantô seated in full armor; Tekkyôshi Rakkwa standing in full armor; Kimpyôshi Yôrin seated, shouting; Kimmôken Dankeijû holding a coiled cord; Kwaganshunkei Tôhi seated with his hand to the back of his head; Temmokushô Hôki seated, resting his chin on his fan; and Maunkinshi Ôbô in a black helmet with half-mask

Robinson: S3.9


Clockwise from the top: Konseimaô Hanzui with magically clasped hands emitting lightning; Hitendaisei Rikon leaning on the shaft of his weapon; Tettekisen Barin seated in armor; Shô-onkô Ryohô seated, with a spear; Hakujisso Hakushô bending a bamboo for a bow; Saijinki Kwakusei with a spear and weighted cord; Tetsubihaku Saifuku seated, with a curved bamboo; Itsushikwa Saikei seated, three-quarter back view; and Hatsubinada Kôjû, half-naked, holding up a sword

Robinson: S3.10


Clockwise from the top: Tetsumenkômoku Haisen with a scroll; Shini Andozen, an old man with a staff; Gyokuhisho Kindaiken wearing spectacles; Seigankô Riun feeling the edge of his sword; Kinsempyoshi Toryu, half-naked, with a long hammer; Sôtôki Sôsei scaling a fish; Shisempaku Kôhotan seated in contemplation; Tsûbiyen Kôken pointing upwards; and Seishushosei Shôjô seated with hands clasped around his knees

Robinson: S3.11


Clockwise from the top: Kanchikotsuritsu Shuki testing a bow; Shô-utsuchi Sonshin seated in helmet and striped armor; Bodaichû Kodaisô (woman) holding up a lantern; Saimeihangwan Riryû in armor expounding from a book; Gyokubankan Môkô, left arm and shoulder bare, in a horned helmet; Kwakuzemba Ôteiroku with a straw-wrapped fish; Kigenji Tokô with a trident; Boyasha Sonjirô (woman) feeling the edge of her sword; and Saiyenshi Chôsei in a helmet covered with spikes

Robinson: S3.12


Another state of the above print


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