Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Stories of Chivalrous People of Loyalty and Courage
(Kyōkaku giyūden - 俠客義勇傅) - Hotei Ichiemon (布袋市右衛門)

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Dates: 1851,created
Dimensions: 9.5 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
一勇斎国芳画 Publisher: Sumiyoshiya Masagorō
(Marks 498 - seal 21-062)
Censor seals: Kinugasa and Murata

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - ca. 1756 Kiyohiro print of Ichiemon; National Diet Library - Toyokuni III example; Waseda University - a different Kuniyoshi print of Ichiemon; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - 1841 Sadanobu portrait;

Physical description:

From the very rare series 'Kyokaku giyu den', from which only three designs are known to survive. Hotei Ichiemon, half-naked and tattooed, with both arms out flung in from of a drying fishing net, about to separate fighting roughs.See Robinson S70.2.

Ex B. W. Robinson and previously the C. H. Mitchell collection whose notes appeared on the cardboard mount (since removed) - this impression used to illustrate the set in The Warrior Prints at page 150.


Hotei Ichiemon is one of the 5 Chivalrous Heroes who started out as ruffian brigands, but who were romanticized by the kabuki and puppet theaters into the most admirable commoners around.

Many artist created numerous representations of these men. This is the only one, so far, where we have seen Ichiemon tattooed We have added some links above of just a few of these, plus one more by Kuniyoshi.


There is another copy of this print in the Worcester Art Museum.