Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Konkōryū Rishun (混江龍李俊 - Ch. Li Jun) from the series
One Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Shuihuzhuan All Told
(Tsūzoku Suikoden gōketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori - 通俗水滸傳濠傑百八人一個)

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Dates: circa 1827 - 1830,available
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga

Related links: British Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Ota Memorial Museum of Art; Tokyo National Museum;

Physical description:

Konkōryū Rishun, half-naked, in the water, upsetting a boat with a foreman inside it. This figure is #35 in Klompmakers book on this series.

Rishun is part of an elaborate plot to help rescue two colleagues from prison. As part of the plan Rishun and two other men swim underwater to overturn an imperial boat transporting a golden bell. Their efforts succeeded.

Use the zooming tool to enlarge this print so you can get a good view of the spectacular tattoo on Rishun's upper torso. It shows Raijin, the thunder god, surrounded by lightening and accompanied by a boar-like, but indeterminate animal.


This print is illustrated in color in a very small image 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, #157.

The author writes: " 'River Dragon' Rishun (Chinese Ki Jun) is the twenty-sixth outlaw of Liang-Shan Marsh. At one time he earned his living as a river pirate before being promoted to commander of the fleet, because it was said that he could do anything in the water.

The tattoo of the god of thunder of Rishun's chest is striking. Most of the 108 heroes of the series are also tattooed from head to toe. After the release of the series, Edo experienced a tattoo boom, many of which were based on Kuniyoshi's motifs."


The publisher according to the British Museum is Kagaya Kichiemon, but there is no mark here.