Artist: Shunbaisai Hokuei (春梅斎北英)

Print: Arashi Rikan II (嵐璃寛) as the fisherman (ryōshi) Namishichi (漁師浪七) in the play Hime Kurabe Futaba Ezōshi ['Picture-book comparison of twin blades and the princess': 姫競双葉絵草紙] - this is the right-hand panel of a diptych

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Dates: 1833,created
Dimensions: 10.375 in,15.125 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Shunkōsai Hokuei ga
Publisher: Honya Seishichi
(Marks 123 - seal 25-527)

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - the whole diptych; Waseda University - right panel ; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg - the left panel of this triptych; Hankyu Culture Foundation; Waseda University - left panel; Fujisawa Ukiyo-e Museum - the full diptych;

Physical description:

"In one version of this scene, the fisherman Namishichi, Oguri's former retainer, attempts to hide Princess Terute in his house, but she is abducted by his corrupt brother-in-law and carried away by boat. Namishichi vows to commit seppuku ("Incision of the abdomen" or ritual suicide: 切腹) in exchange for Terute. A river of blood flows from his abdomen and the dragon gods hear his plea, whereupon strong winds blow the princess's boat back to shore. The dying Namishichi and his brother-in-law continue fighting, and the last we see of Namishichi is his lifeless body spread-eagled upside down on the side of a cliff. Afterward, Terute, now a maid for a wealthy rice merchant in Yokoyama (横山), reunites with Oguri, who is in the area searching for a stolen family heirloom.

Hokuei's depiction of the fight scene is compelling, with an agitated sea and roiling waves splashing against the boat carrying Terute. Namishichi, using an oar to steady himself, presses his left knee into the back of his brother-in-law." This information is quoted directly from Osakaprints.com.

This print - part of a diptych - commemorates a performance of the play Himekurabe Futaba Ezoshi (姫競双葉絵草紙) at the Naka Theater in Osaka in the first month of 1833.

Illustrated in Catalogue of Japanese Art in the Náprstek Museum published by The International Research Center for Japanese Studies: Nichibunken Japanese Studies Series 4, 1994, p. 36

Reference: Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata Yakusha-e Shusei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints) Volume 2, Ikeda Bunko Library, Osaka 1997, no. 305.


There is another print in the Lyon Collection of Namishchi from this same production, but that one is by Kunihiro (#1090).


There are other prints in the Lyon Collection from this play's production in 1833. Another one is by Hokuei (#107) and one by Kunihiro (#1090).