N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1856
Condition: good
Size: 25,5 x 37 cm



Okaru (お軽) had distracted his beloved Kanpei (勘平), retainer of En’ya Hangan (塩冶判官), from duty by inducing him to abandon his post just when the events, at the court of the shogun (将軍), were precipitating in the famous aggression to the evil Ko no Moronao (高師直). The two famous lovers are depicted here when the woman prevents Kanpei from committing the ritual suicide with which the man wanted to atone for his failure, instead persuading him to stay alive and go together with her to the home of her family outside Kyoto (京都), to wait for an opportunity to finally redeem his honor.

The woodcut, made by the artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) is entitled “The Syllable Wo for Fugitives: Actors Bando Shuka I as Koshimoto Okaru and Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Hayano Kanpei” (を をちうと 腰元おかる 初代坂東しうか 早野勘平 八代目市川団十郎) and is taken from the series “Seven Calligraphic Models for Each Character in the Kana Syllabary” (清書七伊呂波).

The fine print, produced in June 1856 by the publishe Wakasaya Yoichi (若狭屋与市), owner of Jakurindo (若林堂), despite the right signs of aging including some slight wrinkles as well as the presence of small restorations on fractures in the lower corners, is in good general condition.