NURSE OTSUJI (Utagawa Kunisada)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1853
Condition: very good
Size: 18 x 24,5 cm



Fine original woodblock print made by the artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) and depicting the actor Suketakaya Takasuke III (三代目助高屋高助) in the role of nurse Otsuji (乳母おつぢ). The woman is presented while praying with ritual ablutions to the god Konpira Gongen (金毘羅権現) so that the young Buddhist acolyte and orphan Tamiya Botaro (田宮坊太郎), whom she believes to be mute, may regain his speech and become skilled in the martial arts, in order to avenge the death of his father.

The work, produced in August 1853 by the publisher Minatoya Kohei (湊屋小兵衛) and by the carver Ota Takichi (太田多吉), is taken from the series “The Glories of the Provinces of Japan” (国尽倭名誉) and is dedicated to the Sanuki Province (讃岐国), which was the scene of the aforementioned event. In the upper left inset, a depiction of Botaro signed by the artist Utagawa Kunimasu (歌川国益).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right signs of aging and the presence of binding holes, is in very good general condition.