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Keyamura Rokusuke (毛谷村六助) watching a wrestling match between kappa from the series The Mirror of the Strange Tales from Japan and China (Wakan Kidan Kagami - 和漢奇談鑑)

Identifier: 1880 Yoshitoshi sumo kappa
Description:

Elena Varshavskaya wrote about Kida Magobee Muneharu in Heroes of the grand pacification: Kuniyoshi's Taiheiki eiyū den, footnote 44.1:

Famous strong man from Buzen province, situated on Kyūshū island. Tradition preserved a number of legends about him, all of them dealing with the period of time when he still bore the name Keymura Rokusuke. Though his biography on the print does not mention a victory reportedly held by him over kappa, malicious water creatures, it includes a phrase recounting Rokusuke's explots glorified in the Kabuki play Hikosan gongen chikai-no sukedachi... So famous was Rokusuke's physical strength that two texts on the print from the series tell about historic victory gained over him in a sumo contest...

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This copy is probably a later edition than the one in the Shizuoka Prefectural Central Library. Click on that link we have provided to make a comparison. Look particularly at the text cartouche in the upper left-hand corner. The one in the Lyon Collection is a solid pink while the one in Shizuoka is tricolored which is a give-away sign that a print is from an earlier edition.

On the other hand, later editions should not be dismissed, because they represent examples of prints that were so popular that they continued to be supplied to the marketplace.

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