Kunichika Toyohara, Suikoden, Snow Scene, Yuki no Danmari, Tattoo Design

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Artists: Kunichika Toyohara (1835-1900)
Title: Suikoden Yuki no Danmari (Silence in the Snow)
Publisher: Komiyama Shohei
Date: 1886
Size: (R)36.8 x 25.1 (C)36.9 x 25.0 (R)37.2 x 25.2 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

 Triptych with actors playing Suikoden heroes Kumonryu (The Nine-dragoned) Shinshin and Kaosho (The Flower Priest) Rochishin fighting each other with long sticks in the kabuki play Suikoden Yuki no Danmari. Kaosho Rochishin's body is tattooed with cherry blossoms and Kumonryu Shinshin is adorned with dragons. Historically, the brief bloom of cherry blossoms symbolises the short life of a warrior, while dragons stand for strength and wisdom as mythical creatures. The 'danmari' of the title is a slow, tense and highly stylised dance, a choreographed performance between two actors in the roles of two heroes of the Suikoden. This play was a success with the audiences partly because of the extraordinary quality of the dance and also because of the dramatic staging and the lavish tattoos that covered the bared bodies of both performers.

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Print Format Oban (Vertical)
Artist Name Kunichika Toyohara
Title Suikoden Yuki no Danmari (Silence in the Snow)
Subject Samurai & Male, Kabuki, Tattoo
Dimensions (R)36.8 x 25.1 (C)36.9 x 25.0 (R)37.2 x 25.2 cm
Condition Report Backed, slightly browned, wormholes (covered by backing), ink stain (centre panel).