Act III (Sandanme) from the series The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers (Chūshingura)

Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826-1869)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Act III (Sandanme) from the series

The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers (Chūshingura)

by Utagawa Hiroshige II, 1855

Hiratsuka from the series Tōkaidō Road

IHL Cat. #1150

About This Print

Act III: Kampei confronts Bannai and his servants near the gate to the palace of Ashikaga Tadayoshi - This scene is set in the evening outside of Kamakura Castle. Kampei, behind whom stands Ōkaru by the bridge over the moat, across which rise the walls and towers of Kamakura Castle, is about to be attacked by Bannai and his men. Bannai is about to arrest Kampei and take Ōkaru, who has her orange scarf ready to strangle Bannai.   The immediate aftermath of this scene, in which Bannai and his men flee Kampei, was portrayed about ten years earlier by Hiroshige II's teacher, Utagawa Hiroshige, as shown below.

About this Chūsingura Series
Utagawa Hiroshige II created this series of twelve prints under his art name (gō) Shigenobu.  His teacher, Utagawa Hiroshige I, created several earlier series in the horizontal ōban format depicting the acts in the play Chūshinguraone published by Izumaya Ichibei between 1835-1839 and one published by Arataya Seiemon between 1843-1847. As with Hiroshige I's series, Hiroshige II bordered the prints with the double Tomo-ye crest of Yuranosuke, the hero of the play.  For several scenes, Hiroshige II borrowed heavily from his teacher as can be seen in the similarities between the background of his above print and that of his teacher's below.

Utagawa Hiroshige I
Act III (Sandanme), from the series The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers (Chūshingura), 1843-1847
publisher Arataya Seiemon

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.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Act III 
  三段目 Sandanme
 The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers
 忠臣蔵 Chūshingura
 Artist Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826-1869)
Ichiyūsai Shigenobu ga 一幽斎重宣画
 Seal (of the artist) none
 Publication Date
1855 (Ansei 2), 1st month

改、卯正 aratame, Hare 1
Fujiokaya Keijirō (Shōrindō)
 [Marks: seal no. 21-026; pub. ref. 063]
Seal reading  や, 藤慶 Ya, Fujikei
 Impression good
 Colors excellent
 Condition fair - soiling and rubbing primarily visible in margins and lower right corner of image; edge damage to margins; unbacked and untrimmed
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format horizontal ōban
 H x W Paper 
 9 13/16 x 14 7/16 in. (24.9 x 36.7 cm)
 9 3/16 x 13 9/16 in. (23.3 x 34.4 cm)
 Collections This Print