Artist: Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861)
Title: Shimura Masazo Katsutoyo
Series: Heroes of the Grand Pacification
Publisher: Yamamoto-ya Heikichi
Date: c. 1848-1849
Dimensions: 24.8 x 36.5 cm
This print from Kuniyoshi’s series ‘Heroes of the Grand Pacification’ shows the warrior Shimura Masazo Katsutoyo as a sumo wrestler. He is wearing a special fringed loincloth and a green garment is covering his right-hand side. To his left there is a wooden bucket with napkins attached to it. This is usually used by wrestlers to rinse their mouths in order to gain strength for the fight. Kuniyoshi took the opportunity suggested by the warrior’s biography to represent him as a sumo wrestler and emphasise his toughness.
From the B.W. Robinson collection.