Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Shi Xiu, the Reckless Third Son (Henmeisanrō Sekishū - 捨命三郎石秀), from the series One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Shuihuzhuan (Tsūzoku Suikoden gōketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori - 通俗水滸伝豪傑百八人之一個)

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Dates: circa 1827 - 1830,created
Dimensions: 9.625 in,14.125 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher Kagaya Kichiemon
(Marks 195 - seal 22-025)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; British Museum; Tokyo National Museum;

Physical description:

"Following a turn of bad luck, Henmeisanrō Sekishū is forced to sell grass for a living. As he had at one point saved the prison chief Byōkansaku Yōyū... from a street robber, he is invited to spend a couple of days as Yōyū's guest. During his stay Sekishū notices that Yōyū's wife is having an affair with a monk, Haijokai who always drops by for an amorous rendezvous when Yōyū is absent. One night Sekishū awaits him outside Yōyū's house and upon the priest's arrival stabs him several times with his knife, killing him. Sekishū and Yōyū thereafter set out for Ryōsanpaku....

Kuniyoshi portrays Sekishū at the moment he has caught the secret lover of Yōyū's wife. He restrains him with his right foot and carries a drum which belongs to another priest who assisted Haijokai by beating his drum every morning as a signal when it was safe to leave Yōyū's house. Sekishū kills this priest first, dons his clothes and then lay in wait for Haijokai." Quoted from: Of Brigands and Bravery by Inge Klompmakers, p. 94. There is a full-page, color reproduction on p. 95.


Also illustrated with a very small color reproduction in Samurai Stars of the Stage and Beautiful Women: Kunisada and Kuniyoshi, Masters of the Color Woodblock Print by Hatje Cantz, Museum Kunstpalast, p. 268, #159.