Kuniteru II Utagawa, Sumo Wrestlers as the Seven Lucky Gods


Artist: Kuniteru II Utagawa (1830-1874)
Title: Sumo Wrestlers as the Seven Lucky Gods
Publisher: Daikokuya Heikichi
Date: 1847-1852
Size: (L) 25.6 x 36.6, (C) 25.2 x 36.8, (R) 25.4 x 36.7 cm


Original Japanese woodblock print.

The Seven Lucky Gods (Shichifukujin) have independent origins in Buddhism, Taoism and Shinto, and have been an important part of Japanese culture since the 15th century (Muromachi era). Although most of these characters have a courtly or scholarly appearance, they were popularised by farmers, merchants and artisans. Consequently, their treasures are practical things like rice, fish and cash, rather than gold or jewels.

Sumo wrestlers were among the most popular celebrities of the day alongside kabuki actors and woodblock prints depicting the subject were collectibles and highly desired by fans. This triptych plays on the theme of the Lucky Gods, replacing the gods with wrestlers in a comical manner.

Kuniteru (Kunitsuna) II Utagawa

A pupil of Kunisada, Kuniteru II depicted the manners and sights of the late Tokugawa and early Meiji ages, particularly the early industrial scenes.

More Information
Print FormatTriptych
ArtistKuniteru (Kunitsuna) II Utagawa
SubjectSumo Wrestlers
Dimensions(L) 25.6 x 36.6, (C) 25.2 x 36.8, (R) 25.4 x 36.7 cm
Condition ReportRestored small wormholes.