Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳) (artist 01/01/1797 – 04/14/1861)
Iwai Kumesaburō III [岩井粂三郎] as Inue Shinbei (犬江親兵衛) from the series Loyal Heroes of the Hakkenden (Giyū Hakkenden - 義勇八犬伝)
9.125 in x 13.625 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese color woodblock print
Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Artist's seal: kiri in red
Publisher: Shimizuya (Marks U287 - seal 21-154)
Censor seals: Hama and Magome
Tateyama City Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art - an album of 58 prints, their battered copy is number 29
British Museum - another Kuniyoshi of this figure wearing a different robe decorated with toy dogs
Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Köln
Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena 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.]
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.
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.
It should be noted that this hero's name is sometimes written with an 'em' and sometimes with an 'en', but we now feel that the 'en' spelling/pronunciation is more acceptable.
Illustrated in black and white in Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst • Köln by Werner Speiser, p. 274, pl. 220. The museum identifies the figure as the actor Iwai Kumesaburō (III).
warrior prints (musha-e - 武者絵) (genre)
Hakkenden (The Eight Dog Heroes - 八犬伝) (genre)
Shimizuya (清水屋) (publisher)
Inue Shinbei (犬江親兵衛) (role)
Iwai Kumesaburō III (三代目岩井粂三郎) (actor)
Kyokutei Bakin (曲亭馬琴) (author)