Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
The Rônin Horibe Yasubei Taketsune destroys a wall in the residence of Kira Yoshinaka with a large wooden hammer. A cloud of dust rises, obscuring the view. The large trompe-l'œil cartouche shows a poem and a running weasel, signed by Yoshi-jo (Kuniyoshi’s daughter). The title cartouche is in the shape of a tsuba (sword hand guard).
Title: Ri (the syllable Ri frim the Iroha poem): Horibe Yasubei Taketsune
Series: Seichû gishin meimei kagami (A Mirror of the True Loyalty of Each of the Faithful Retainers)
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga
Seal: Kiri mon (Yoshikiri)
Publisher: Horikoshi, Edo
Censor seal: Aratame
Date: 1857, 6th month
Size : Vertical Ôban, 36.8 x 25.1 cm (overall)
Excellent impression, very good colours, with pigment oxidation. Thin old backing. A vertical fold along the left margin, open in top. Bottom margin trimmed to the image border line. Old ink smudge in right margin. Verso a narrow brown stain at bottom margin, barely visible from the front and two small remnants from previous mounting in top. Rectangular black Japanese (collectors?) seal in left margin. Overall very good condition. A very nice and dynamic print, certainly one of the best in this series. The dust cloud, elaborately dusted on by hand with a metallic pigment, turns out slightly different in each copy. Robinson, The Warrior-Prints, p 90.34. Cf. also MFA Boston 33.1166.8; British Museum. 2008,3037.08313. Robinson and British Museum erroneously credit the publisher Iseya for this series.