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Kanadehon Chūshingura, Act VI

Picture of the Occupation of the Hodai Fort, at Wei-Hai-Wei by our 2nd Army

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Kanadehon Chūshingura, Act VI

by Yūsai Toshiaki, 1897

Yūsai Toshiaki (1864-1921)

IHL Cat. #1617

About This Print

One of a series of twelve prints (see below) portraying a Kabuki version of the play Kanadehon Chūshingura (commonly seen translated as "The Treasury of Loyal Retainers" or "The Treasury of Forty-Seven Loyal Retainers" or "The Revenge of the Forty-Seven Samurai" or "The Revenge of the Forty-Seven Rōnin").  This particular print was likely part of an album as it bears a vertical centerfold and has remnants of being mounted along the left edge verso. Prints in the series are dated either 1896 or 1897.
In this scene two of the rōnin, Gōemon and Yagorō, visit Kanpei to return the money Kanpei (seated with his bowed) contributed to erect a monument to their dead master, saying: "It would not please his spirit if we paid for the monument with money taken from a man who had proved disloyal and faithless to his lordship."1  Behind Kanpei sits his lover's (Okaru) mother weeping. In the background we see Okaru being carried by a palanquin to a brothel.

To read more about the representations of Chūshingura in woodblock prints see the article on this site Chūshingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) in Woodblock Prints.

The twelve prints in the series Kanadehon Chūshingura

1 Chūshingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) A Puppet Play, translated by Donald Keene, Columbia University Press, 1971, p. 97-98.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1617
 Title (Description) Kanadehon Chūshingura, Act VI 
 仮名手本忠臣蔵 六段目
 Artist Yūsai Toshiaki (1864-1921) 幽斎年章
年章 Toshiaki 
 Seal Toshiaki (see image above)
 Pub. Date 1897 (Meiji 30) 明治卅年
Hasegawa Sumi 長谷川寿美
[Marks: pub. ref. 102; seal 25-406]
as printed in left margin: 東京市京橋区南伝馬町二丁目十七番地臨写印刷兼発行者長谷川寿

Note: The two square seals, shown left, are associated with a number of publishers during the 1890s, including the publishers Hasegawa Sumi 長谷川寿美 and Komori Sōjirō 小森宗次郎. They often appear near the publisher's name. Taken together, the seals read Kumiai seigen 組合正言.  Kumiai can be translated as "guild" and seigen can be translated as "censor" (using the Chinese meaning for the word.)  So, we may have some type of publisher's guild approval or censor seal.  
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - light toning; not backed; vertical center fold likely from being mounted in an album
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format horizontal oban
 H x W Paper 
 8 5/8 x 13 3/4 in. (21.9 x 34.9 cm) 
 H x W Image 8 1/4 x 13 1/8 in. (21 x 33.3 cm)

 Collections This Print Ritsumeikan Art Research Center AcNo.arcUP1211 CoGNo. arcUP1211 AlGNo.arcUP1211