The Loyal Heroes of Bakin’sHakkenden

(Giyű 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.  I am grateful to Robert Pryor for his contributions to this section. 

 

 

Description: Actor Bandô Shűka I in the role of Inusaka Keno (犬坂毛乃) with a drawn sword and geese flying in front of a full moon

Schaap: 15.1

 

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

 

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

 

An additional state of the above design

 

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

Schaap: 15.2

 

Another state with a solid red cartouche in the right upper corner

 

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

Schaap: 15.3

 

 

Another state with a solid red cartouche in the right upper corner.  This print demonstrates the way purple ink can change color to brown.  Only the lower portion of the print has undergone this chemical change.

 

An additional state of the above design

 

Description: Actor Iwai Kumesaburô III as Inue Shinbei (犬江親兵衛) with a festival decoration

Schaap: 15.4

 

Another state with a solid red cartouche in the right upper corner

 

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

Schaap: 15.5

 

Another state with a solid red cartouche in the right upper corner

 

Description: Actor Sawamura Sojűrô V (Sawamura Chojűrô V from 1848) as Inuzuka Shino (犬塚信乃) with drawn sword and doves flying overhead

Schaap: 15.6

 

Another state with a solid red cartouche in the right upper corner

 

Description: Actor Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Inumura Kakutaro (犬村角太郎) clutching a scroll

Schaap: 15.7

 

Information courtesy of Guy Pepermans

 

Another state with a grey belt

 

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

 

 

Another state with a grey background

 

 

Another state with a solid red cartouche in the right upper corner

 

 

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

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN PAGE