THE CAPTURE OF MORONAO (Utagawa Hiroshige)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1840 ca.
Condition: signs of aging
Size: 32,5 x 22,5 cm



Compelling original woodblock print of large horizontal format depicting the capture of Ko no Moronao (高師直) during the legendary assault of the forty-seven ronin (四十七士) on his residence. Moronao, fictional name of Kira Yoshinaka (吉良義央), after long searches was found hidden in a woodshed but nobody was sure of his identity, since he refused to declare his name. Then, as we see on the left of the work, Oishi Kuranosuke (大石内蔵助) confirmed his identity by illuminating with a lantern his face, in which the scar caused by the blow inflicted by Asano Naganori (浅野長矩) was still clearly visible.

The precious work, produced around 1840 by the publisher Fujiokaya Hikotaro (藤岡屋彦太郎), owner of Shogendo (松原堂), is taken from the series “Chushingura” (忠臣蔵), made by the famous artist Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川広重), and illustrates the eleventh act (十一段目).

The rare print on Japanese washi paper (和紙) has obvious signs of aging, including stains and ancient restorations on wormholes.