Title: In Minamotoĺs
Residence the Earth Spider Appears as a Monster (Minamoto no Yorimitsu-k˘ no yakata ni tsuchigumo
y˘kai o nasu zu, 源頼光公館土蜘作妖怪圖)
Description: The Earth Spider
(right) conjures up demons at the mansion of Minamoto no Yorimitsu
(源頼光朝臣, right), who
lies sick in bed. Two of his bodyguards, Watanabe no Tsuna
(内舎人 渡辺綱) and Sakata no
Kintoki (主馬佐 坂田金時), play go (centre),
while Urabe no Suetake (勘解由判官卜部季武, right) and
Usui no Tadamitsu (碓井貞光, left) look
towards the procession of spirits in the background.
Publisher: Iba-ya Sensabur˘
month of 1843
NOTE: This is the
first edition of the triptych that got Kuniyoshi into trouble with the
authorities.á It bears no censorĺs seal
and pokes fun at the government and the censors. The daimyo Mizuno Tadakuni (1794-1851) was
the force behind the censorship known as the ôTenp˘
reformsö.á He was the roju (chief
councilor) to the shogun, and is
caricatured in this triptych as the Earth Spider casting his evil influence
over the shogun, who is represented by the sleeping figure of Yorimitsu.
This is the second edition printed from newly carved
woodblocks.á Kuniyoshiĺs signature and
the publisherĺs seal appear only on the left-hand sheet.
This is the third edition, which is crudely carved.á There is no white divide between the realm
of the demons and the green floor of Yorimitsuĺs
Ink and color paintings generally considered to
be by Kuniyoshi
This unsigned woodblock
print is a crudely drawn copy of Kuniyoshiĺs design.á The artist is unknown, and it is smaller
than the original, measuring 6 11/16 x 14 1/4 inches (17 x 36.2 cm).
ôRobinsonö refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.