Kuniyoshi Utagawa, 108 Heroes of Suikoden, Kumonryu Shishin

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861)
Title: Kumonryu Shishin and Chokanko Chintatsu
Series: 108 Heroes of Suikoden
Publisher: Kagaya Kichibei
Date: c. 1828
Size: 26 x 36.6 cm
Condition: Creases throughout. Discolouration. Wear on the right-hand side margin.


Kuniyoshi's commercial and artistic success came in 1827 with the series "The 108 Heroes of the Tale of Suikoden". Suikoden (Water Margin) is a 14th century Chinese novel about 108 rebels and heroic bandits, very popular in Japan those days. The characters were also outlaws and brigands, seen as men of honour who would rebel against bureaucracy, a Robin-Hood-like band that made the story of a revolutionary novel with implications resenting the authority of the time.


A gang of robbers, whose leaders greatly feared Shishin because of his enormous strength, resided on the mountain near Shishin's home village. One day, however, one of the three robber leaders, Chokanko Chintatsu, is feeling reckless and challenges Shishin to a fight. Both men struggle at length, but eventually Shishin is victorious and Chintatsu is taken prisoner.

More Information
Print Format Oban (Vertical)
Artist Name Kuniyoshi Utagawa
Title Kumonryu Shishin and Chokanko Chintatsu
Subject Samurai & Male, Tattoo
Dimensions 26 x 36.6 cm
Series One Hundred Eight Heroes of the Popular Suikoden
Publisher Kagaya Kichiemon