Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Ichikawa Omezō II [市川男女蔵] as Saitō Dōsan (斎藤道三) - right hand panel of a triptych from the play Hana no yuki Takeda no kachidoki (花眺雪武田勝凱)

Bookmark and Share
Dates: 1850,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Artist's seal: kiri
Publisher: Ibaya Senzaburō
(Marks 127 seal 11-001)
Censors: Hama and Kinugasa

Related links: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg ; Hankyu Culture Foundation - right panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - center panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - left panel;

Physical description:

When the whole triptych is seen as a unit - this is the right panel - it is clear that it is a mitate for Fudō Myōō and his assistants Kongara dōji and Seitaka dōji. Omezō, here in the role of Saitō Dōsan, is the Kongara dōji substitute. The fellow who is the stand-in for Fudō is Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII as Takechi Samanosuke (武智左馬之助); on the left is Bandō Shūka as Seitaka/Saeda Inukiyo (早枝犬喜代).

Complete triptych from Hankyu Cultural Fundation


Under an overhanging cliff with a maple tree the actor Ichikawa Omezō II wields a huge axe, wearing street attire over his sumo apron. In the background a waterfall.


"Saitō Dōsan (1494?-1556)

Also known as Saitō Toshimasa. Daimyō of the Sengoku period (1467-1568), considered an outstanding example of the process of Gekokujō ('those below overthrowing their superiors') said to characterize that period. Of unclear provenance, Dōsan rose from the status of a rear vassal of Toki Yorinari (1502-82), the shugo (military governor) of Mino Province... to overlordship of that province. Chronicles composed in the Edo period (1600-1868) describe Dōsan as a renegade Buddhist priest turned oil peddler who in the course of his travels gained entry into a Mino samurai household, ruthlessly exterminated his benefactors, overthrew the Toki, and set himself up as daimyō. More trustworthy contemporary sources indicate that some of these details of Dōsan's early life apply rather to his father, thereby diluting somewhat the image of a spectacular usurper. It is clear, however, that Dōsan's way to the top was paved with several murders, including that of Toki Yorinari's son Jirō; in 1542 he forced Yorinari himself to flee Mino and seek the protection of Oda Nobuhide (1510-51) of neighboring Owari... The Oda remained hostile to Dōsan until 1548, when he married his daughter to Nobuhide's son, the future hegemon Oda Nobunaga, thereby securing his southern flank. That Dōsan's control over Mino was incomplete, however, is shown by the fact that, when his son Yoshitatsu (1527?-61) turned against him in 1555, few of the provincial barons (kokujin) supported Dōsan, who the next year lost his life in the struggle."

Quoted from: Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan, vol. 6, page 373. Entry written by George Elison.