N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1864
Condition: signs of aging
Size: 18,5 x 24,5 cm



Otaka Gengo Tadao (大高源五忠雄), one of the faithful samurai of Asano Naganori (浅野長矩), was a man of unparalleled loyalty and an expert in military horsemanship and tea ceremony. Here we see him depicted, during the legendary assault of the forty-seven ronin (四十七士) on the residence of Kira Yoshinaka (吉良義央), while rejecting with his katana (刀) a bonbori (雪洞) lamp thrown at him by an enemy.

This precious woodblock print, made by the artist Utagawa Yoshitora (歌川芳虎), is the syllable “U” (う) from the series “Biographies of Loyal and Dutiful Retainers” (忠臣義士銘々伝), commonly referred to by the translation “The Story of the Faithful Samurai in The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers”, and is entitled “Otaka Gengo Minamoto no Tadao” (大鷹玄五源忠雄).

The work, printed in May 1864 by the publisher Wakasaya Yoichi (若狭屋与市), owner of Jakurindo (若林堂), has the right signs of aging and some worming and binding holes.