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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Kyūsenpō Sakuchō or Suo Chao, the Urgent Vanguard (急先鋒索超) from the series from
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: 1827 - 1830,available
Dimensions: 10.25 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
一勇斎国芳画
Publisher: Kagaya Kichiebei
(Marks 194)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Tokyo National Museum; Ishibi Prefectural Museum; British Museum;

Physical description:

We first encounter Suo Chao in Chapter 13 of Outlaws of the Marsh on page 199 of our three volume edition. At the very beginning of that chapter is heading which says: "Urgent Vanguard Vies for Honors on the Training Field".

After one man lost in a struggle with Yang Zhi another warrior strode brazenly up to the governor, greeted him respectfully and said: "Though I am not very talented I'd like to pit my skill against Yang's...."

Liang saw that it was none other than Suo Chao, a captain in the guards regiment of Daming Prefecture. Suo's temper was as explosive as a pinch of salt in the flames, and he was eager to win glory for his country, always plunging first into the fray. And so he was known as Urgent Vanguard."

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This is #40b from Klompmakers' book on this series.

Kyūsenpō Sakuchō first appears in the 'Shuihu zhuan' in chapter 62 and is one of the 'heavenly stars' (number 19, 'the empty star'). Sakuchō is representative of how many Suikoden heroes join the 'Ryosanpaku' gang. An army captain, he is ordered by his commanding general to capture the notorious Suikoden hero Kohogi Soko.. His first attempt proving futile, Sakucho is eventually taken prisoner in chapter 63 by gang members Tenmokusho Hoki and Seibokukan Kakushibun when he and his horse plunge into a snow-covered trap. From that moment onwards he becomes an important member of the ever-growing ranks ofthe band. See Robert Schaap, Heroes & Ghosts, Kuniyoshi, 1998, Amsterdam, ill. #9, p. 43. A famous and important design of this master of action heroes. This set being Kuniyoshi's first and greatest effort which would set the tone for the coming decades of Hero (musha-e designs)