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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Inue Shimbei (犬江親兵衛) from the series
Loyal Heroes of the Hakkenden (Giyū Hakkenden - 義勇八犬伝)

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Dates: circa 1849,created
Dimensions: 9.125 in,13.625 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
一勇斎国芳画
Artist's seal: kiri in red
Publisher: Shimizuya (Marks U287 - seal 21-154)
Censor seals: Hama and Magome

Related links: Waseda University; Tateyama City Museum;

Physical description:

The Eight Dog Chronicles (Nansō Satomi Hakkenden) is a 106 volume epic novel by Kyokutei Bakin. It was written and published over a period of nearly thirty years (1814 to 1842). Bakin had gone blind before finishing the tale, and he dictated the final parts to his daughter-in-law Michi.

Set in the tumultuous Sengoku period (350 years before Bakin lived), Hakkenden is the story of eight samurai half-brothers--all of them descended from a dog and bearing the word "dog" in their surnames--and their adventures, with themes of loyalty and family honor, as well as Confucianism, bushido and Buddhist philosophy. One of the direct inspiration sources of the novel is the 14th-17th century Chinese epic novel Outlaws of the Marsh (Suikoden). [This information is taken directly from Wikipedia.]

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In 2011 there was an exhibition of prints called "Water Margin versus Hakkenden" shown at the Senshu University Library. The poster shows two images in a circle. The left half is a partial image of Gyōja Bushō, a Suikoden hero, fist-pounding a tiger, while the right side is a detail from the print seen here.

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Another copy of this print was also included in an exhibition from from March 11, 2017 to May 7, 2017 at the Fuchu-shi Art Museum.