Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

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Saito Toshimoto nyudo Ryuhon (actually Saito Toshimitsu nyudo Ryuhon) in armour struggling with a Chinese brigand underwater. From the set Taiheiki yeiyuden, “Heroic Stories of the Taiheiki.” A history of the wars of the loyalist Nitta and Kusunoki families against the Ashikaga war-lords during the second quarter of the 14th century. But in fact the subject of this set of fifty prints (this numbered 48) is the civil war of the late 16th century. Censorship restrictions imposed in the 1840s prevented publishers from illustrating historical subjects from the Tensho era 1573-92 onwards, so the publishers circumvented this by slightly altering the names of the historical figures. Published 1848-9 by Yamamoto-ya Heikichi. There are a number of different states of this design, the preferable one, as here, has a light blue printed over the whole image to better depict the water. One of the best designs from the set.

Fine impression and colour. Slight centre fold and slight trimming at bottom. Light album backing. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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