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Act VII: The Ichiriki Teahouse from the series Pictorial Siblings to The Treasury of Loyal Retainers


The dance "Michiyuki tabiji no hanamuko" an interact in the play "Kanadehon Chûshingura"

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Act VII: The Ichiriki Teahouse

from the series

Pictorial Siblings to the Treasury of Loyal Retainers

by Utagawa Kunisada, 1859

Act XI: The storming of Moronao’s mansion from the series Pictorial Siblings to The Treasury of Loyal Retainers

 
 




detail of circular inset
IHL Cat. #1215

About This Print


The circular inset on this print (see detail above) depicts the actual scene from act VII of the play Chūshingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) in which Rikiya, the son of Yuranosuke, goes to the garden of the Ichiriki teahouse where his father is pretending to live a life of debauchery while he plots revenge against Moronao. Rikiya hands his father a message from Lady Kaoya telling him of Moronao's whereabouts. 

In the parody of this scene portrayed in the print a wad of tissues are furtively passed to a courtesan by another courtesan, pointing to a night of wild love making.  The young courtesan kneeling by the bamboo fence bites down on her head scarf indicating the passion that the night holds.

This is one of twelve prints from the series titled Pictorial Siblings to The Treasury of Royal Retainers.  The entire set of prints are shown on the page Act XI: The storming of Moronao’s mansion from the series Pictorial Siblings to The Treasury of Loyal Retainers

About the Series Pictorial Siblings to The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (Chūshingura e-kyōdai)

Source: The Artist's Touch, The Craftsman's Hand: Three Centuries of Japanese Prints from the Portland Art Museum, Maribeth Graybill, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, 2011, p. 218.

"Perhaps no artist was more prolific in reworking the Chūshingura story than Kunisada, who presented the tale as history, as biography, as a star vehicle for noted actors, and – as seen here – in irreverent parodies.  Playing with the venerated theme of warrior loyalty, this series juxtaposes moments of high drama from the tale of revenge with light-hearted activities in the daily lives of contemporary women.  The series was produced in 1859 when the printmakers’ craft was at a pinnacle.  New, more opaque pigments were available to produce saturated colors, and block carvers had achieved remarkable virtuosity in transferring the artist’s designs into woodblocks.  The embossing and hand-wiped shaded washes indicate that the series was printed as a deluxe edition." [Note: The series was also printed in a "standard" edition and variant printings for each print in the series exist.]

To read more about the representations of Chūshingura in woodblock prints see the article on this site Chūshingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) in Woodblock Prints.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog #1215
 Title Act VII Nanadane (The Ichiriki Teahouse)  七段目
 Series Pictorial Siblings to The Treasury of Royal Retainers (忠臣蔵絵兄弟 Chūshingura e-kyōdai).  The series title is also seen translated as Matching Pictures with the Chūshingura.)
 Artist 
 Utagawa Kunisada I (1786–1865)
 Signature 
豊国画 Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche
 Seal
 Publication DateJanuary 1859 
 Publisher
seal reading: 森, 馬貳, 森治 (Mori, Ba Ni, Moriji)
森屋 治兵衛 Moriya Jihei (Kinshindō) [Marks: 21-150; pub. ref. 353]
 Impression excellent
 Colors good
 Condition good - slightly rubbed and soiled; minor marks and flaws; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e; mitate
 Miscellaneous 
 Format oban
 H x W Paper 14 7/16 x 10 in. (36.7 x 25.4 cm)
 Collections This Print Portland Art Museum 77.37.6; The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 100-1653; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 5245-003-07; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University ACNo. arcUP2653, 102-00-011, arcUP2657; National Diet Library ndljp/pid/1304144; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 00.813

 Reference Literature
 The Artist's Touch, The Craftsman's Hand: Three Centuries of Japanese Prints from the Portland Art Museum, Maribeth Graybill, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, 2011, p. 218.
last revision:
1/9/2019
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