Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Earth Spider, 1887
Comments - Fantastic kabuki scene from the story of the tsuchigumo or earth spider, one of the most famous Japanese folktales. The great warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu, known as Raiko, fell ill with a fever and dreamed of an earth spider preparing to cast a web over him. He struck at it with his sword and immediately recovered from his fever, chasing the ground spider to its lair and killing it with the aid of his retainers. The spirit of the ground spider takes center stage, raising a red and white striped pole above his face as Yorimitsu's retainer Yasumasa thrusts a sword at him. His distinctive stage makeup and flowing black hair give him an imposing, mysterious appearance. Yorimitsu watches solemnly from the right, the agitated beauty Kocho kneeling below him. From left, the actors are Nakamura Shikan, Onoe Kikugoro, Nakamura Fukusuke as Kocho, and Bando Kakitsu. A terrific image detailed with fine line work and soft shading on the night sky.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 28 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three separate panels. Horizontal folds. A couple small repairs, a few creases. Please see photos for details.