N.1 triptych of ukiyo-e woodblock prints
Year: 1865
Condition: very good
Size: 74 x 37 cm

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Fine triptych of polychrome woodblock prints made in August 1865 by the artist Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周) and depicting the powerful samurai Takechi Mitsuhide (武智光秀) armed with a bamboo spear and, on the right and in the centre, his eighteen-year-old son Jujiro Mitsuyoshi (十次郎光義) with his betrothed Hatsugiku (はつきく) holding the kabuto (兜) helmet of her young beloved who is about to leave for the battlefield.

The three characters, played respectively by the actors Bando Hikosaburo V (五代目坂東彦三郎), Ichimura Kakitsu IV (四代目市村家橘) and Sawamura Tossho II (二代目沢村訥升), are the protagonists of the famous tenth act (十段目) of the play “The Picture Book of the Meritorious Prince” (絵本太功記).

The prints on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the publisher Izutsuya Shokichi (井筒屋庄吉) and by the carver Watanabe Eizo (渡辺栄蔵), despite the presence of some tiny holes and a fair patina of time, are in very good general condition.