Artist: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎)

Print: Kanadehon Chūshingura, Act 5 - Godanme (仮名手本忠臣蔵 - 五段目) - encounter on the Yamazaki road

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Dates: 1806,created
Dimensions: 15.25 in,10.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Publisher: Izumiya Ichibei
The seal in the lower left is nearly obliterated.

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Harvard Art Museums; Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Honolulu Museum of Art; Ritsumeikan University; British Museum - they date theirs to the late 1790s to the early 1800s; British Museum - another Hokusai version of this scene dated to 1801-1804;

Physical description:

Sadakurō murders Yoichibei. On the umbrella, there are words 'New Print, Year of Tiger.' This correlates to 1806. Sarah E. Thompson wrote about this scene from the Chūshinguraillustrated by Kuniyoshi in The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō on page 110.

"The scene takes place one night on the Yamazaki road during a summer storm. The distant figure to whom Sadakurō is calling is the elderly farmer Yoichibei, whose beautiful daughter Okaru is married to Hayano Kanpei, one of the forty-seven conspirators. Yoichibei is hurrying home with money that he has obtained by selling Okaru to a brothel, at her own request, in order to raise funds for the vendetta plot. Sadakurō, a disloyal samurai who has become a bandit, cruelly murders Yoichibei and steals the money.... Moments later, Sadakurō himself is killed when Kanpei, out hunting to support his family, shoots at a wild boar and hits the thief instead. In the dark, Kanpei cannot see who the dead man is, but he finds the money and takes it. Later, in the mistaken belief that he has himself killed Yoichibei, Kanpei commits ritual suicide. But before he dies, all is revealed. In fact he has avenged his father-in-law and recovered the stolen money and his name will be honored as one of the forty-seven rōnin. He is with his fellow rōnin in spirit when their vengeance is achieved at last."


There is Kuniyoshi print of this scene also in the Lyon Collection, 1436.