Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
Kiuchi Sogo Petitioning the Shogun, 1884
Comments - Handsome kabuki triptych featuring dramatic scenes from the play "The Higashiyama Storybook," a tale about a local mayor named Kiuchi Sogo. To obtain much-needed tax relief for his impoverished village, Sogo petitioned the shogun directly, bypassing the crooked local governor. As a result of his illegal act, he was sentenced to die by crucifixion, and returned as a ghost to haunt the governor. Here, Sogo urgently offers up his petition to the shogun as he is traveling by, extending the message on a slender bamboo stick. Wearing a dotted gray kamishimo over a blue kimono edged with plaid, the shogun stares at him with a frown. At left, two monks eavesdrop from behind a purple cloth tent wall emblazoned with the three hollyhock leaf crest of the Tokugawa shoguns. The actors include Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kiuchi Sogo, Ichikawa Gonjuro I as the Shogun, and Nakamura Fukusuke IV as a young page. Includes embossing on the monks' white kimono collars. An intriguing scene from this popular drama, based on a true story.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 1/2" + left margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Vertical folds. A few small holes, repaired. Slight soiling. Please see photos for details.