Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
Ume no Yoshibei Attacking Chokichi, 1886
Comments - Dramatic kabuki scene of the otokodate or street knight Ume no Yoshibei attacking the shop apprentice, Chokichi. After Yoshibei rescued Chokichi from robbers along the bank of the Okawa River, he asked the young man for a desperately needed loan, unable to recognize in the dark that the youth was actually his own brother-in-law. When Chokichi refused, vowing that the money needed to go to his brother-in-law, Yoshibei murdered him and stole the money. Here, he grabs the drawstring purse from around Chokichi's neck, pulling him backwards as he hides his sword behind his back. Yoshibei is instantly recognizable by the distinctive clothing he wears, his red kimono featuring white herons symbolizing innocence and his purple outer robe decorated with black crows denoting bad luck. Two circular insets depict beauties. A terrific design with an atmospheric night setting along the river, buildings lining the opposite shore. The first time we've seen this Kunichika triptych. Includes burnishing on the black obi and kimono collars.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 27 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels. A few small losses, repaired. Vertical folds between panels. A few creases. Please see photos for details.