Kunisada: Samurai and child
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Utagawa Kunisada II (1823-1880) / Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826-1869)
A samurai carries a little child on his back through a mountain torrent, watched by a travelling woman sitting on the river bank and smoking a pipe. Above a landscape view with a temple, designed like a framed ex-voto picture (hôgaku).
Title: Chichibu junrei sanban Iwamotosan Jôsenji (No. 3 of the Chichibu pilgrimage, the Jôsen temple at Mt. Iwamoto) - Komochi-ishi, Fusui-seki, Chômei-sui (Story of the rock with the child, the sleepless stone and the water of long life)
Series: Kannon Reigenki (Records of the miracles of Kannon)
Signature: Kunisada ga, in Toshidama cartouche, and Hiroshige (temple view)
Publisher: Yamadaya Shôjirô (Yamashô, Kinkyôdô), Edo
Date: 1959, 5th month
Size: Vertical Ôban, 37.4 x 25.5 cm (overall)
Excellent impression and colours, with shomenzuri (lustre-printing). Full margins, unbacked. Four tiny pinholes in upper margin, a little soiling and rubbing in margins. Unobtrusive horizontal centrefold. Overall very nice condition.
Cf. MFA Boston Nos. 06.1167 and 11.42620, with a complete transcription of the text written by the author Mantei Ôga (1818-1890).
The series, planned for a hundred images but apparently not completely realised, is dedicated to the three ancient main pilgrimage routes to the Kannon (Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara) temples of Japan – in Saigoku (Kansai, Western Japan), Chichibu (Saitama, Central Japan), and Bandô (Kantô, Eastern Japan).