Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Kagaya Kichiemon
(Marks 195 - seal 22-025)
Censor's seal: kiwame
Related links: British Museum; Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow;
The British Museum notes that this figure has just thrown down a flaming torch - seen in the lower left of this print - while in pursuit of a group of horse thieves. The horse is not easy to make out, but it is definitely there in the mix.
We would also like to hear a cogent discussion of Kimmōken Dankeijū's tattoo. That red devilish looking figure with horns is Fujin (風神), the god of the winds, on his back. He can also be identified by the large bag of wind he is carrying over his shoulder. A subtle but wonderful touch is that Fujin is mirroring the behavior of Kimmōken Dankeijū himself.
"Kimmōken Dankeijū is described in the Shuihu zhuan as having red hair and a blond beard. He has spent his entire life horse thieving. One day he steals a valuable snow-white steed name 'White lion that shines in the night' that is able to run more than 300 miles a day. In Chapter 59 Dankeijū sets out for Ryōsanpaku to offer this wonderful beast to Kohōgi Sōkō, but when near the Sō-family village, the horse is stolen by the fifth son of the village head. Dankeijū continues his trip to Ryōsanpaku and relates the bad news to Sōkō; he also joins the rebel band at this time. In Chapter 67 Dankeijū is robbed again by members of the Sō family, just after he has purchased a couple of horses for the Ryōsanpaku gang. The second theft results in a fight between the Sō family and the bandits: the victory goes to Dankeijū's friends."
Quoted from: Of Brigands and Bravery: Kuniyoshi's Heroes of the Suikoden by Inge Klompmakers, p. 148 with a full-page color reproduction on page 149.