Kunisada Utagawa, Pirate Kezori Kuemon, Portrait, Kabuki Theatre Actor, Ukiyo-e

SKU: JG0518V03 Category:


YEN, ¥ GBP, £





Artist: Kunisada Utagawa (1786-1865)
TItle: 30. Hamamatsu, Kezori Kuemon
Series: The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido
Publisher: Izutsu-ya Shokichi
Date: 1852
Dimensions: 25.5 x 36.3 cm

This dynamic portrait of the pirate captain Kezori Kuemon is a clear example of the Japanese compositional technique known as the kiri, or cut. By omitting details which might seem somewhat integral to traditional Western pictorial traditions, Kunisada creates a scene of aggressive movement. Based on a real incident and popularised in the bunraku theatre by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725), one of Japan’s most renowned playwright, the story of Kezori is filled with crime and drama that must have been particularly entertaining to theatregoers of the Edo period (c.1603-1868). When national borders were almost entirely sealed, the roughish and exotic nature of the pirate must have been particularly potent. The maritime theme of the print extends to the cartouche bracketed with items such as an anchor, coral, a Japanese kiseru pipe and a Western style cup along with other exotic objects. As well as adding fierceness to this outlaw character, the dragon adorning his robe further echoes the nautical theme of the print, as the mystical creature often resides in the ocean in Japanese folklore.

Additional information
Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 36.3 × 25.5 cm
Condition report



Product Year

Era Style



Payment Options
Shipping Information

All orders are processed within 1-2 working days and are be shipped Monday-Friday. Our woodblock prints are protected by 2 acid-free plastic sleeves, 3 sturdy boards and a padded water-proof envelope.None of the items listed for sale are mounted or framed. 3D objects are packaged using foam, bubble-wrap or pellets for padding and will be delivered in an appropriate box by a courier. ALL orders are singed-for upon delivery and can be tracked online.