THE LITTLE FOX (Utagawa Kunisada II)

N.1 triptych of ukiyo-e woodblock prints
Year: 1864
Condition: very good
Size: 74 x 34,5 cm



Precious triptych of woodblock prints made by the artist Utagawa Kunisada II (二代目歌川国貞) and depicting, from right to left, the handsome manipulator of the fox magic Kogitsune Reiza (小狐礼三), the legendary thief Nippon Daemon (二本駄右衞門) and the voluptuous and undaunted female thief Funadama Osai (舟玉おさい), played respectively by the kabuki actors Ichimura Kakitsu IV (四代目市村家橘), Ichikawa Kodanji IV (四代目市川小団次) and Onoe Kikujiro II (二代目尾上菊次郎).

The three aforementioned characters are the protagonists of the play “Koharunagi Okitsu Shiranami” (小春穏沖津白浪), written by the famous Japanese dramatist Kawatake Mokuami (河竹黙阿弥) and known in the Western world with the title “The Magical Thief: the Little Fox Reiza”.

The prints, produced in October 1864 by the publisher Maruya Tetsujiro (丸屋銕次郎), owner of Enjudo (延寿堂), and by the carver Katada Chojiro (片田長治郞), despite some right signs of aging including a few very small holes on the margins, are in overall very good condition.