N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Period: 1870s
Condition: good
Size: 23,5 x 35 cm



Compelling polychrome woodblock print of the yakusha-e (役者絵) type, that is “actor images”, made in the 1870s by the artist Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周). The work is inspired by “The Heroic Tales of Jiraiya” (児雷也豪傑譚), a Japanese folk tale that tells the story of the legendary ninja who uses toad magic.

In the print we see Jiraiya (児雷也) magically suspended in a waterfall and played by the actor Ichikawa Danjuro (市川団十郎). On the left, the actor Ichikawa Sadanji (市川左団次) plays the role of the high ranking officer in the shogunate Yuminosuke (勇美之助). Below, Princess Teruta (照田), played by Onoe Kikugoro (尾上菊五郎), overpowers a barely visible female warrior in the lower left corner.

The woodcut, produced by the publisher Komiyama Shohei (小宮山昇平) and by the carver Watanabe Yataro (渡辺弥太郎), despite the right signs of aging and the partially trimmed margins, is in good condition thanks also to an effective relining carried out on the back.