Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Yang Xiong, the Pallid One, (Byōkansaku Yōyū - 病関索楊雄) from the series The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden (Tsūzoku Suikoden gōketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori - 通俗水滸伝豪傑百八人之一個)

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Dates: circa 1827 - 1830,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Kagaya Kichiemon
(Marks 195 - seal 22-027)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: British Museum; Hagi Uragami Museum of Art; Tokyo National Museum;

Physical description:

"In this print Kuniyoshi depicts the moment just preceding the death of Yōyū's wife and her maid. The prison chief, his sword clenched between his teeth, grasps the women by their throats and adulteress, in the foreground, futilely begs for mercy one last time. In front of Yōyū's wife lay some of her jewels and valuables which Sekishū has taken to exchange for food during the journey to Ryōsanpaku."

This print is illustrated in Of Brigands and Bravery by Inge Klompmakers, p. 97. The text is from page 96.


Also illustrated in color in Ukiyo-e: The Art of the Japanese Print by Frederick Harris, 2010, p. 151.

Harris describes this print differently than Klompmakers does. Here he says "Byokwansaku" is rescuing a woman from a villain.


Yang Xiong is first encountered in Chapter 44 of the Outlaws of the Marsh: "[Dai Zong and Yang Lin]... came to a large street. Dai and Yang stopped to watch. First came two prison guards. One toted colorfully wrapped gifts. The other carried bolts of satin and brocade. Behind, shaded by a black silk umbrella, walked a prison executioner. A fine figure of a man, he wore a gown of embroidered blue indigo. His long eyebrows extended into his sideboards, his eyes turned up at the corners, his complexion was pale brown, and he had a whispy moustache. He was a Henanese, and his name was Yang Xiong. He had come to Qizhou with a paternal cousin who had been appointed prefect, and had remained ever since. The prefect who succeeded his cousin also knew him, and made him warden of the town's two prisons, as well as hte official executioner. Yang Xiong was a first-rate man with weapons, but his complexion was rather pale, and so he was nicknamed the Pallid."