Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Faithful Samurai, Miura Jiroemon Kanetsune

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Artist: Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1798-1861)
Title: 49. Miura Jiroemon Kanetsune
Series: Stories of the True Loyalty of the Faithful Samurai
Publisher: Ebiya Rinnosuke
Date: 1847-1848
Condition report: Restored worn-out corners and edges. Some restored holes. Vertical fold mark. Pinholes. Paper partially thinned.
Dimensions: 24.7 x 35.5 cm

 

Not all of the renowned Forty-Seven Ronin were competent fighters. The samurai class, which dominated Japanese society since medieval times, was by no means an equal one, covering a spectrum of long respected families to poverty stricken folk closer to peasants than to the purported image of noble warriors. Kanetsune encompasses the humbler side of the samurai, who did not live by their sword alone. In Kanetsune's case, his katana blade was more often replaced by a kitchen knife, earning his livelihood through his work as a chef. His commitment to fresh food, in spite of his superior's wishes, turned him into a figure of endearment. Here he is shown awkwardly stumbling into a hearth in the fray of the ronin's attack. Yet, although he is shown off-balance, his stance and stare are dignified, strongly brandishing his blade before his opponents.

More Information
Artist Name Kuniyoshi Utagawa
Title 49. Miura Jiroemon Kanetsune
Subject Samurai & Male
Condition Report Restored worn-out corners and edges. Some restored holes. Vertical fold mark. Pinholes. Paper partially thinned.
Dimensions 24.7 x 35.5 cm
Series The Faithful Samurai
Publisher Ebiya Rinnosuke