Original Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) Japanese Woodblock Print
Honjo: Shirai Gonpachi
Series; Sixty-nine Post Stations of the Kisokaido Road, 1852 - 1853
Kuniyoshi's Sixty-nine Post Stations of the Kisokaido Road - Terrific print from Kuniyoshi's Kisokaido Road series, published between 1852 and 1853. The Kisokaido Road ran between Edo and Kyoto along a mountainous inland route, as opposed to the Tokaido Road, which followed the coast. Kuniyoshi created one design for each of the sixty-nine stations along the way, plus images for Edo and Kyoto. Each features a well-known figure from history or legend, along with a small inset depicting the station itself. These terrific illustrations feature wonderful detail and handsome settings, many with deluxe printing treatments such as fine bokashi shading or burnishing. A great choice for a Kuniyoshi collector or anyone interested in Japanese history and folklore.
Honjo: Shirai Gonpachi - Fantastic portrait of Shirai Gonpachi tucking his sword into its scabbard, clutching a purse between his teeth. A broken sandal, a sword, and an umbrella abandoned on the ground suggest that Gonpachi has just robbed, and perhaps murdered, another victim. The young Gonpachi fled to Edo after killing a boy in his hometown. During his journey, he rescued and fell in love with Komurasaki, the beautiful daughter of a merchant, but he continued on his way. Later, he encountered the beauty again, who had become a Yoshiwara courtesan to support her impoverished parents. Unable to buy her freedom, Gonpachi recklessly turned to a life of robbery and murder to be able to continue to visit her. The driving rain and shadowy trees silhouetted against the dark night sky create an ominous atmosphere for this legendary figure, the subject of many kabuki plays and tales. A great, bold image.
Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 9 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Lightly rubbed area. Slight toning and soiling. Please see photos for details.