Kunichika Toyohara, Kabuki Play, Muramasa Sword, Ghost

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Toyohara Kunichika
Title: Konoma no Hoshi Hakone no Shikabue
Date: 1880
Publisher: Fukuda Kumajiro
Size: (L) 35.7 x 23.8, (C) 35.6 x 23.9, (R) 35.7 x 23.8 cm
Condition report: Backed, slightly trimmed, aper residue, colour transfer on the central panel.


In popular culture, Muramasa swords have been often depicted as cursed swords with demonic powers. Muramasa was a most skillful smith but a violent and ill-balanced mind verging on madness, that was supposed to have passed into his blades. They were popularly believed to hunger for blood and to impel their warrior to commit murder or suicide. It has also been told that once drawn, a Muramasa blade has to draw blood before it can be returned to its scabbard, even to the point of forcing its wielder to wound himself or commit suicide. Thus, it is thought of as a demonic cursed blade that creates bloodlust in those who wield it.

More Information
Artist Name Kunichika Toyohara
Title Konoma no Hoshi Hakone no Shikabue
Subject Male & Female, Kabuki Theatre, Ghosts, Spirits & Religion
Dimensions (L) 35.7 x 23.8, (C) 35.6 x 23.9, (R) 35.7 x 23.8 cm
Publisher Fukuda Kumajiro, Hatsujiro