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Kanadehon Chūshingura, Act X

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

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Kanadehon Chūshingura, Act X

by Yūsai Toshiaki, 1897

Yūsai Toshiaki (1864-1921)

IHL Cat. #1618

About This Print

One of a series of twelve prints portraying the twelve acts in 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 we see Gihei's four year old son Yoshimatsu playing with Igo "a round-faced boy of nineteen" who holds a puppet.1   In the back room Gihei is seen writing a letter of divorce to his wife while his father-in-law Ryōchiku waits.  On the orange curtain we see, in reverse, the name of Gihei's shop 天川屋 (Amakawa-ya).

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. 150.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1617
 Title (Description) Kanadehon Chūshingura, Act X 
 仮名手本忠臣蔵 十段目
 Artist Yūsai Toshiaki (1864-1921) 幽斎年章
年章 Toshiaki 
 Seal Toshiaki (see image above)
 Pub. Date March 29, 1897 (Meiji 30) 明治卅年三月廿九日
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 11/16 x 13 11/16 in. (22.1 x 34.8 cm) 
 H x W Image 8 1/4 x 13 in. (21 x 33 cm)

 Collections This Print