Individual Warrior Prints, Part I

1842 ľ 1852

 

Most of these prints are listed in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement as S1f.á Prints of Sh˘ki the demon queller could be considered as belonging in this section.

 

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: áKid˘ Maru (鬼童丸) seated cross-legged on a giant python, his hands clasped, two wrapped pine-sprigs (aomatsuba) in his mouth, and a long dagger is driven into the pythonĺs head with snakes curl around its blade

Publisher: Tsuta-ya Kichiz˘

Date: c. 1843

Robinson: S1f.1

 

NOTE: This is the first edition, which is reproduced on the dust jacket of Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982)

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this later printing in which the seal of the censor Tanaka has replaced the kiwame seal, indicating a date of 1844-1845.

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this additional state with no censorĺs seal.

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: diving girl (ama) Tamatori, with sacred jewel, pursued by the Dragon King

Publisher: Tsuta-ya Kichiz˘

Date: c. 1843 from design c. 1840

Robinson: S1f.2

 

NOTE: Although difficult to see, there is a small round censorĺs seal in the left lower corner, which was printed in black in the first edition.

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

This is another state of the above print made from the original woodblocks.

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

This is a 1930s reproduction of the above print published by Robert O. Muller.á New woodblocks were carved for this printing.

 

Scene: Musashi-b˘ Benkei (武蔵坊弁慶) defeated by Onz˘shi Ushiwaka Maru (御曹子牛若丸) under moonlight on Goj˘ Bridge

Publisher: Tsuta-ya Kichiz˘

Date: c. 1842 (with kiwame seal)

Robinson: S1f.3

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this image.

 

 

On this print, the seal of the censor Tanaka has replaced the kiwame seal, indicating a date of 1844-1845.á Note the lack of shading in the sky and on the hill.

 

Scene: Ushiwakamaru (牛若丸) fighting with Benkei

Publisher: No seal

Date: 1847-1850 (censors Mera and Murata)

Robinson: S1f.3a (not in Robinson)

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this image.

 

 

Scene: Miyamoto Musashi (宮本無三四) cutting the wing off a bird-like creature called a bake-yamabushi

Publisher: Yoshimi-ya Sonokichi

Date: 1842-1846 (censor Fukatsu Ihei)

Robinson: S1f.4

 

NOTE: Robinson dates the design to c. 1835.

 

 

Another state of the above design published by Ueyasu, who is called J˘-Yasu in Robinson

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: áRaig˘ Ajari (頼豪阿闍梨) watched with apprehension by ďe no Kunifusa-ky˘ (大江匡房郷) destroying the Buddhist scrolls at Miidera Temple

Publisher: Ueyasu (called J˘-Yasu in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson)

Date: 1842-1846 (censor Fukatsu Ihei) from design c. 1835

Robinson: S1f.5

 

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: Matano Gor˘ Kagehisa (俣野五郎景久) and Sanada Yoichi Yoshisada (真田与一義定) struggling on the rocks by a waterfall at Ishibashiyama

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijir˘.á This is a later printing; the first edition was published by Yamaguchi-ya Tobei.

Date: c. 1845 from design c. 1840

Robinson: S1f.6

 

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: Shinchűnagon Tomomori (新中納言知盛) clasping the great anchor with which he drowned himself

Publisher: Nomura-ya Tokubei

Date: c. 1845

Robinson: S1f.7

 

 

Scene: Wada Heita Tanenaga (和田平太胤長) struggling with huge python

Publisher: Yamashiro-ya Heisuke

Date: c. 1845

Robinson: S1f.8

 

 

Another state of the above design

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: Kokusempű Ri Ki (黒旋風李逵, the Black Whirlwind) with flying hair and beard armed with two large axes

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Date: c. 1845

Robinson: S1f.9

 

NOTE: Kokusempű Ri Ki is Li Kui in Chinese

 

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: Hanaosho-Chisin (花和尚智深) with a pole arm

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Date: c. 1845

Robinson: not listed

 

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: Kyűmonryű Shi En (九紋龍史進, the Nine-Tattooed Dragons) with a pole arm

Publisher: Daikoku-ya Heikichi

Date: c. 1845

Robinson: not listed

 

NOTE: Kyűmonryű Shi En is Shi Jin in Chinese

 

Kuniyoshi - (S 1f

 

Scene: Oniwaka Maru (鬼若丸, Benkei in boyhood) killing a giant carp in an old lake.

Publisher: Yamamoto-ya Heikichi

Date: c. 1848 from design c. 1840

Robinson: S1f.10

 

 

Scene: Onz˘shi Ushiwaka Maru (御曹子牛若丸, Yoshitsune in boyhood) prostrating himself before the tengu king S˘j˘-b˘ (僧正坊) in the woods of Kuramayama

Publisher: Yamamoto-ya Heikichi

Date: c. 1848 from design c. 1840

Robinson: S1f.11

 

NOTE: Tengu are forest-dwelling creatures that are either human-like with wings and long noses or bird-like.

AN00592122_001_l

 

Scene: The Hosokawa retainer Shimamura Danj˘ Takanori (嶋村弾正高則), his armor pierced with arrows, leaning on his naginata (pole arm) and riding over the waves on the backs of giant crabs

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijir˘ (丸屋清次郎)

Date: c. 1845 from design c. 1840

Robinson: S1f.12

 

 

ôRobinsonö refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO GO TO PART II

 

image016