Title: Eddie’s Beauty Revealed
Artistic Director: Yuka Mitsui
Illustrator: Masumi Ishikawa
Woodcarver: Saeko Baba
Printer: Hirokazu Tetsui
Size: 48 x 34 cm
Iron Maiden are known not only for a story being told in their music, but also for maintaining this strong and creative story line that runs through all aspects of their work. Reflected in their visuals and artwork, this story is now brought to life in Ukiyo-e as well. Aside from their wide-ranging lyrics, galloping riffs, and Bruce Dickinson’s vocals, one of the most memorable aspects of the legendary band is their creepy-yet-delightful mascot Eddie.
In this print, Iron Maiden mascot ‘Eddie’ is depicted having gone back in time to the Edo Period in Japan, and he is spreading evil. The legendary traditional Iron Maiden torture device is also pictured in the lower righthand corner of the artwork. The characters written phonetically spell out ‘Iron Maiden’ and have the meaning ‘works of darkness.’
The title of the piece is ‘Jigoku Dayu Jitsu Wa Eddie’ (Eddie is actually the Hell Courtesan).’ Jigoku Dayu translates to Hell Courtesan and is a reference to a Japanese tale about an arrogant courtesan who, after she passes away, is sentenced by the King of Hell to wear a kimono made from the souls of those tortured in hell to remind her of her cruelty. The courtesan was known for her beauty, but by looking at herself in the mirror, her true self is exposed and the beautiful face becomes a mask. The story is often portrayed in woodblock prints, such as those by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (see reference images).