Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳) (artist 01/01/1797 – 04/14/1861)

U (Hare - 卯): Shinozuka Iga no Kami (篠塚伊賀守) from the series Eiyu Yamato junishi (Japanese Heroes for the Twelve Signs - 英雄大倭十二支)

Print


1854
10 in x 14.5 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
一勇斎国芳画
Publisher: Mikawaya Kihei (Marks 336 - seal 12-047)
Date seal: 7/1854
Censor's seal: aratame
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
British Museum
Waseda University
Lyon Collection - another print from this series: the Monkey

Shinozuka Iga no Kami standing on the shore, in black armour and a white-maned helmut. The white fur is blind-printed. The maedate or crest is made up of a running or leaping hare with long ears. This warrior is fiercely holding a long spear.

This is the only example in this series where the Zodiac animal shows up as part of a helmut's design.

From the sereis: Eiyu Yamato Junsi-shi, Japanese heroes for the Twelve Signs. This print represents the Zodiac sign of the hare. Illustrated in a small black and white reproduction in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior Prints by B. W. Robinson, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1982, p. 159. S84.4.

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has identified this prints publisher as Mitaya Kihachi (Marks 335), but Marks says this seal belongs to Mikawaya Kihei (#326).
Mikawaya Kihei (三河屋喜兵衛) (publisher)
warrior prints (musha-e - 武者絵) (genre)
Jūnishi (十二支 - 12 signs of the Zodiac) (genre)