ATTEMPTED MURDER (Utagawa Yoshiiku)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1874
Condition: good
Size: 23,5 x 35 cm



The bloody news story, which we see depicted in this fine 19th century woodblock print, took place in the context of the rich Sakuma (佐久間) family of the Kazusa Province (上総国). The victim of the attempted murder is the younger sister of Sakuma Jurozaemon (佐久間十郎左エ門), who wanted to usurp the property of his relative Sakuma Tadashichi (佐久間忠七). The woman brandishing the sword is the latter’s wife and her murderous rage broke loose after learning about the extramarital affair between her husband and the victim. Jurozaemon, who was waiting for the opportunity to knock out the rival, took advantage of the episode and managed to get Tadashichi arrested.

The print presented here is the illustration of the issue number 919 (九百十九号) of the newspaper Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun (東京日々新聞), made by the famous artist Utagawa Yoshiiku (歌川芳幾), also known as Ochiai Yoshiiku (落合芳幾).

The work, produced in 1874 by the publisher Gusokuya Kahei (具足屋嘉兵衛) and by the engraver Watanabe Horiei (渡辺彫栄), is in good general condition thanks also to a thick relining carried out on the back.