The Loyal Heroes of Bakin’sHakkenden

(Giyû Hakkenden, 義勇八犬傳)

Publisher: Kiyomizu-ya

1847-1848

 

This series of prints is based upon the novel Nansô Satomi Hakkenden (The Biography of Nansô Satomi and the Eight Dog Warriors) written by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848).  By a rather complicated set of circumstances, Fusehime, the daughter of Lord Anzai of the Satomi Clan, produces eight great warriors fathered by a dog.  The majority of the novel’s 181 chapters relate their swashbuckling adventures.  An actor is shown portraying each of the eight “dog heroes”.  This series is listed as number 162 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban. 

 

Description: Actor Bandô Shûka V (better known as Bandô Mitsugorô V) in the role of Inuzuka Shino with a drawn sword and geese flying in front of a full moon

Schaap: 15.1

 

 

Description: Actor Arashi Kichisaburô III as Inukai Kenpachi (犬飼現八) pulling two ropes with two doves flying overhead

Schaap: 15.2

 

Description: Actor Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII as Inuta Kobungo Yasuyori (犬田小文吾忬順) with a fishnet and crabs in the background

Schaap: 15.3

 

NOTE: This is the first state with a red , white and blue cartouche in the right upper corner.  The red is badly faded in this example.

 

A later printing with a solid red cartouche in the right upper corner

 

Description: Actor Iwai Kumesaburô III as Inue Shinbei with a festival decoration

Schaap: 15.4

 

Description: Actor Ichikawa Ebizô V as Inuyama Dôsetsu holding his in a magical pose with a pine tree in the background

Schaap: 15.5

 

Description: Actor Sawamura Sojûrô V (Sawamura Chojûrô V from 1848) as Inuzuka Shinno with drawn sword and doves flying overhead

Schaap: 15.6

 

Description: Actor Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Inumura Daikaku-tarou (犬村大角太郎) clutching a scroll

Schaap: 15.7

 

Information courtesy of Guy Pepermans

 

Description: Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV as Inugawa Sôsuke (犬川荘介) ready to draw his sword with pine branches in the background

Schaap: 15.8

 

 

Schaap” refers to listing in ‘Heroes and Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi’ by Robert Schaap (Hotei Publishing, Leiden, 1998).

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