SEIRIKI TAMIGORO (Toyohara Kunichika)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1865
Condition: good
Size: 11 x 17 cm



Seiriki Tamigoro (盛力民五郎), sumo wrestler (力士) and servant of the yakuza (ヤクザ) boss Sasagawa no Shigezo (笹川繁蔵), is depicted in this dramatic woodblock print when, surrounded by the men of the Kanto disciplinary police (関東取締出役) commanded by the rival boss Iioka no Sukegoro (飯岡助五郎), turns his rifle against himself to commit suicide, after vainly trying to avenge the murder of Shigezo.

The print, in which the protagonist is played by the actor Nakamura Shikan IV (四代目中村芝翫), is taken from a series made by the artist Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周) and entitled “A Modern Suikoden” (近世水滸傳), a reference to the famous Chinese novel “Shui Hu Zhuan” (水浒传), literally “the story by the water margin”, which tells the adventurous epic of a gang of 108 outlaws.

The woodblock print of vertical koban (小判) format, produced in 1865 by the publisher Kagaya Kichiemon (加賀屋吉右衛門), owner of Seiseido (青盛堂), despite the trimmed margins and the right signs of aging including tiny holes and some slight signs of paper wrinkling, is in overall good condition.