The former samurai Furuteya Hachirobei (古手屋八郎兵衛) finds his little daughter Ohan (お半) outside the front door. The girl had been pushed out by the evil Kaguya Yahei (香具屋弥兵衛) who, taking advantage of Hachirobei’s economic difficulties, was trying to seduce his wife Otsuma (お妻). The woman, driven by the desire to help her husband and after consulting with her mother Okiku (お菊), had decided without Hachirobei’s knowledge to divorce him and marry Yahei, who had promised her a large sum of money. Hacirobei, after a series of vicissitudes and, now, furious at having found his beloved daughter left out in the cold, will break into the house and kill both his wife and mother-in-law, but not Yahei who will barely escapes with his life.
The woodblock print presented here is taken from vol. 3 (下) of the “Fashionable Men of the Zodiac Year” (今様年雄床), an erotic book illustrated in 1827 by the artist Utagawa Kunitora (歌川国虎) and made in collaboration with Kotei Shujin (好亭主人), pseudonym of the writer Shikitei Sanba (式亭三馬).
The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right signs of aging including a showy stain in the lower left corner as well as a partial trimming of the margins, is in overall fair condition.