Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) (1786-1865)
The strong warrior Ômori Hikoshichi (aka Ômori Morinaga) of the Seiwa-Genji clan is about to carry a beautiful young lady on his back across a river in front of them. Only moments later, the beauty is about to turn into a female vengeance demon (Kijo), wanting to kill Hikoshichi; however she will be recognised and defeated by him in time.
Hikoshichi's grim look betrays his distrust; the woman’s facial expressions, her hair and her fluttering headcloth with blue and white urokogata pattern (stylized scales of a snake) reveal her demon nature.
Title: 大森彦七盛長-(Ômori Hikoshichi Morinaga)
Signature: Kôchô Kunisada ga
Publisher: Moritaya Hanzô, Edo
Date: c. 1835 (or earlier) – first edition
Size: Vertical Ôban, 38 x 25,9 cm (overall)
Excellent impression and colours. Full sheet, unbacked. At left and lower margins a few professionally restored wormholes and small paper damages. Minimal rubbing at corners, a few tiny spots. Overall very nice condition.
Extremely rare, particularly in the first edition.
Ill. in: Robert Schaap, Kunisada - imaging drama and beauty. Leiden 2016, p. 151, no. 154. In the somewhat later edition with the second censor's seal ill. in : Iwakiri Yuriko, Ukiyo-e dai musha-e ten/The Samurai World in Ukiyo-e, cat. Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2003, p. 51, no. 126; also in James King and Yuriko Iwakiri, Japanese Warrior Prints 1646-1905, Leiden/Boston 2007, p. 231, no. 122 (from the collection of the Hagi Uragami Museum); Lyon Collection, no. 505.