Original Hiroshige (1797 - 1858) Japanese Woodblock Print
Tamiya Botaro and His Nurse Otsuji, circa 1844 - 1845
Series; Illustrations of Loyalty and Vengeance (Chuko Adauchi Zue)A Fuji Arts Special Offer Auction
Tamiya Botaro and His Nurse Otsuji, circa 1844 - 1845 - Terrific Hiroshige illustration of the young boy Tamiya Botaro tugging on the sleeve of his nurse, Otsuji, as she raises a pail of water from a well. Botaro's father was murdered by his fencing master, who was jealous that his student's skills would surpass his own. Botaro spent his life training so that he could avenge his father's death, but the fencing teacher imprisoned him, planning to murder him as well. The faithful Otsuji did penance under a waterfall, praying for the boy's release. She finally drowned herself so that the gods could take her soul in exchange for the boy's, and then he was released. At the age of seventeen, Botaro finally avenged his father's death. Here, he seems a carefree child, playfully trying to get Otsuji's attention, as she concentrates on her task, a bell tied to a string of prayer beads in her mouth. An intriguing image from this famous tale, which became the basis of a popular kabuki play. A great Hiroshige woodblock from a very rare series of vertical oban prints published in 1844 - 1845.
Artist - Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)
Image Size - 13 1/2" x 9 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Loss and thinning at edges, a few holes, repaired. Creasing and rubbing throughout. Please see photos for details.