Warrior triptychs

1843

 

Kuniyoshi - (T128) In Minamoto's Residence the Earth Spider Appears as a Monster (Minamoto no Yorimitsu-k˘ no tachi ni tsuchi-gumo y˘kwai nasu no zu) (1st ed

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 Raik˘ (Minamoto no Yorimitsu) (right), who lies sick in bed. Two of his bodyguards, Watanabe no Tsuna and Sakata no Kintoki, play go (centre), while Urabe no Suetake (right) and Usui no Tadamitsu (left) look towards the procession of spirits in the background

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensabur˘

Date: 8th month of 1843

Robinson: T128

 

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.

Kuniyoshi - (T128) In Minamoto's Residence the Earth Spider Appears as a Monster (Minamoto no Yorimitsu-k˘ no tachi ni tsuchi-gumo y˘kwai nasu no zu)

This is the second edition printed from newly carved woodblocks.á Kuniyoshiĺs signature and the publisherĺs seal appear only on the left-hand sheet.

Kuniyoshi - (T128) In Minamoto's Residence the Earth Spider Appears as a Monster (Minamoto no Yorimitsu-k˘ no tachi ni tsuchi-gumo y˘kwai nasu no zu) (3rd ed

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 mansion.

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.

 

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