N.1 abuna-e woodblock print
Year: 1835
Condition: signs of aging
Size: 27,5 x 22 cm



The courtesan Akoya (阿古屋), in love with the runaway rebel Akushichibyoe Kagekiyo (悪七兵衛景清), is ordered by Chichibu no Shoji Shigetada (秩父の庄司重忠), in charge of discovering Kagekiyo’s hiding place, to play three musical instruments: a koto (箏) zither, a shamisen (三味線) lute and a kokyu (胡弓) vielle. The true feelings and worries that Akoya will express in her songs will convince Shigetada and his assistant Iwanaga Munetsura (岩永宗連), whom we see leaning against a brazier and who would have preferred to extort information by torture, that the woman does not know with certainty where her lover is hiding.

The rare woodblock printed double-page illustration is taken from vol. 1 (上) of the erotic work “Longevity and Prosperity: The Hair of a Silver Couple” (寿栄志らが女夫久舎) illustrated by the artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) and made, in 1835, in collaboration with the writer Toenmei Kagefude (東園明景筆), possible pseudonym of Utei Enba II (二世烏亭焉馬).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙) shows evident signs of aging, in particular some holes in the lower part and slight wrinkles.