Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Act 12 of Kanadehon Chushingura

Size: 23.3 cm by 34.7 cm (9.17 in by 13.66 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ?

Designer: Kunimasa

Era: Meiji

Price: 6,000 yen (click to see conversions)

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Description: "Kanadehon Chushingura" ("The Treasury of Loyal Retainers"), the title of the series to which this print belongs, was a bunraku puppet play composed in 1748 about the chushingura, perhaps better known in the west as the "Forty-Seven Ronin". The popularity of the play led to its adaptation for the kabuki stage, and it is presumed that a kabuki version of the work was the basis for this particular set of prints.

This is one print from the "Kanadehon Chushingura" series by Utagawa Kunimasa IV (1848-1920). The fact that it depicts Act 12 of the play also suggests that these prints were based on a kabuki adaptation of the play, as the original bunraku work only had 11 acts. This scene probably depicts the Sengakuji Hikiage ("The Withdrawal to Sengaku Temple"), in which the ronin place the head of Moronao on a halberd and walk to Sengaku Temple to report their success to the spirit of Enya Hangan and submit themselves to mass suicide by seppuku.

A woodblock print depicting a defining scene in the tale of the forty-seven ronin, in bright colours.

There are a few creases and minor stains to the print, and minor damage to the upper margin of the print, repaired.

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