Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)

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A diptych showing the actor Otani Tomoemon V as the loyal servant Gakuzo (aka Inukawa Sosuke Yoshito, one of the eight Dog half-brothers), brush in hand, having just hung the decapitated head of the evil Aboshi on a tree and written beside it: Kore ha akuto Aboshi Samojiro nari. Aruiwa hizo tachi, “This is the villain Aboshi Samojiro… He [stole] a treasured sword [Murasame – the treasured sword of the Ashikaga family].” Shows a scene from an episode in Part III, volume 5 of the Satomi Hakkenden no uchi, “Tales of the Eight Dogs of the Satomi Clan.” The macabre tale, written by Kyokutei Bakin (1767-1848) in 98 chapters and 106 booklets, revolves around the eight offspring of a supernatural marriage between a princess and her father’s dog and their commitment to restore the fortunes of the samurai house of Satomi. Published by Tamaya Sosuke 1868. Very rare: Keyes in his dissertation on Yoshitoshi lists just the right sheet from an oban series, presumably the print in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, ART568220, and another impression of just the right sheet is owned by Tateyama City in Chiba Prefecture.

Very good impression, colour and condition. Signed Kaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu. (Keyes attributes this print to Yoshitoshi as he hadn’t seen the left sheet.)

Status: Sold

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