Selected Actors as the Eight Heroes of Bakin’s Hakkenden

(Mitate yakusha Hakkenshi, 見立俳優八犬士)

Publisher: Kaga-ya Kichibei

c. 1840


This series of prints is based upon the novel Nansô Satomi Hakkenden (The Biography of Nansô Satomi and the Eight Dog Warriors) written by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848).  By a rather complicated set of circumstances, Fusehime, the daughter of Lord Anzai of the Satomi Clan, gives birth to eight great warriors, each fathered by a dog.  The majority of the novel’s 181 chapters relate their swashbuckling adventures.  This series is listed as number 156 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The individual sheets in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.  I am grateful to Ward Pieters for assisting with this series.


Description: Actor Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Inuda Kobungo (犬田小文吾) trouncing three ruffians

Schaap: 14.1

Description: Actor Arashi Kichisaburô III as Inumura Daikaku (犬村大角) threatening Inue Shinbei with a halberd

Schaap: 14.3

Description: Actor Ichikawa Danjűrô VIII as Inue Shinbei (犬江親兵衛) fending off Inumura Daikaku’s halberd with his fan

Schaap: 14.2

Another state of the above design

Description: Actor Ichikawa Kuzô II as Inugawa Sôsuke engaged in a fight over a purse with Inuyama Dôsetsu and one of his vassals

Schaap: 14.5

Description: Actor Ichikawa Ebizô V as Inuyama Dôsetsu with long curly hair and a drawn sword holding Inugawa Sôsuke’s purse in his mouth

Schaap: 14.4

Description: Nakamura Utaemon IV as Inukai Kenpachi (犬飼現八) fighting with Inuzaka Shino on the roof of the Hôryűkaku

Schaap: 14.7

Description: Actor Onoe Kikugorô III as Inuzuka Shino (犬塚信乃) fighting with Inukai Kenpachi on the roof of the Hôryűkaku

Schaap: 14.6

Description: Actor Iwai Shijaku I as Inuzaka Keno Tanetomo standing on a boat during a moonlit night wringing out his wet garments

Schaap: 14.8

Description: ?

Schaap: Not listed


Schaap” refers to listing in Heroes and Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi by Robert Schaap (Hotei Publishing, Leiden, 1998).