N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1864
Condition: very good
Size: 25 x 36,5 cm



Karigane Bunshichi (雁金文七) was a Robin Hood-like hero from popular culture of the Edo period (江戸時代). According to legend, Bunshichi led a gang of outlaws in Osaka during the Genroku era (元禄時代) in the late 17th century. In 1702, he was caught and executed by the authorities, yet his colourful character lived on in the people’s imagination, immortalised in several popular kabuki (歌舞伎) plays. Here we see him interpreted by the actor Iwai Tojaku (岩井杜若) and together with the symbols that traditionally characterize his depiction: that is a flock of geese, on this occasion on the kimono, and a shakuhachi (尺八) flute behind his back.

The precious woodblock print, of vertical large oban (大判) format, was made by the artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞), is titled “Karigane Bunshichi” (かりがねぶん七) and is taken from the series “Heroic Commoners in Kabuki” (梨園侠客伝).

The work, printed in April 1864 by the publisher Hiranoya Shinzo (平野屋新蔵), owner of Aikindo (愛錦堂), with the collaboration of the carver Ota Komakichi (太田駒吉), despite the right signs of aging and two small ancient restorations on the upper edge, is in very good general condition.