Title: Tsujikiri Eddie (Slashing Eddie)
Artistic Director: Yuka Mitsui
Illustrator: Masumi Ishikawa
Woodcarver: Saeko Baba
Printer: Hirokazu Tetsui
Edition: 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.
This print pays homage to the artwork from Iron Maiden’s famous album ‘Killers’ while incorporating a ‘Jack the Ripper’ motif. A character in Edo era Japan, Eddie is both an admirable samurai and an evil menace. ‘Tsujikiri’ literally translates to the brutal act of testing out your blade on a random passerby.
The print is also a reference to Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s print that shows Onikojima Yataro with two severed heads and a sword from the series ‘Yoshitoshi’s Selection of 100 Warriors’ (see reference images). Kojima Yataro (1522 – 1582) was a Japanese samurai of the Sengoku period, who served the Uesugi clan of Echigo Province. He was one of Uesugi Kenshin’s leading generals and his ferocity in combat gave rise to his nickname, Demon Kojima.