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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Inuta Kobungo Yasuyori [犬田小文吾忬順] with the child Inue Shimbei fending off an attack - from the series The One and Only Eight Dog History of Old Kyokutei, Best of Refined Authors (Kyokutei-ō seicho Hakkenshi zui-ichi - 曲亭翁精著八犬士随一)

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Dates: created,1835
Dimensions: 10.25 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
一勇斎国芳画
Artist's seal: Toshidama (in red)
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yōhachi
(Marks 391 - seal 16-083)

Related links: British Museum; National Museums of Scotland; British Museum - early 1850s Kuniyoshi diptych with Inuta Kobungo Yasuyori ; British Museum - ca. 1848 another representation of this character by Kuniyoshi;

Physical description:

Inuta Kobungo was a former sumō wrestler.

Andreas Marks gives the dates of ca. 1836-38 for this series.

Illustrated in Robinson: S5 pp. 106/107.

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"In Chapter 74 of Hakkenden, one of the heroes, Inuta Kobungo 犬田小文吾, outwrestles a violent bull, calms it down, and thus comes to the help of local villagers, who gratefully shower him with praise and admiration. A wealthy bull owner, Supotarō 清本太郎, invites him to stay overnight at his house." The master of the house serves him wine personally and the next day asks him to rest in a room set aside to honor people who have done a service to the village.

Later "The same passage has another example, in which Supotaro gives presents to Kobungo. Servants bring in several rolls of crinkled hemp cloth and a large quantity of coins. They say that, now that the weather is hot, the crinkled hemp will be useful on his travels. Also, Kobungo's feat is worth many coins because the bull that he subdued is notoriously violent. Kobungo responds, 'You didn't have to go to all this trouble..." Kobungo said this because it should be nothing for a samurai to wrestle a violent bull.

Source and quotes from: "The Playful Gloss. Rubi in Japanese Literature" by Chieko Ariga in Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 44, no. 3, Autumn, 1989, pp. 327-28.

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There are two copies of this print in the Lyon Collection. For the other one see #976.