Beautiful woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format depicting the actor Iwai Shijaku (岩井紫若) playing the role of the female bandit Hitomaru no Oroku (人丸ノ於六). The woman is a character in the play “Fifty-three post stations along eastern Japan” (吾孺下五十三駅) and is depicted clutching a naginata (薙刀). In the background the night envelops, with a wise bokashi (ぼかし) gradation, the silhouette of a castle.
The work is taken from the series “Mirror of Demonic People, Good and Evil” (善悪鬼人鏡) by the artist Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周) and was produced in 1868 by the publisher Tsunokuniya Isaburo (津國屋伊三郎) and by the carver Katada Chojiro (片田長次郎).
The precious print on Japanese washi paper (和紙) shows signs of aging and has many small restorations, as well as a vertical fold close to the right margin.