Kunisada - Ushiwakamaru

Kunisada - Ushiwakamaru

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Portrait of Sawamura Tanosuke III as Ushiwakamaru.  From the series 'Contemporary Kabuki Actors Likened to Thirty-Six Flowers'

當盛見立三十六花撰」庭前の菊 御ぞう子牛若丸 剥し跡有

Yoshitsune's name in childhood was Ushiwakamaru. Yoshitsune has long been a popular figure in Japanese literature and culture due to his appearance as the main character in the third section of the Japanese literary classic Heike Monogatari (Tale of the Heike). The Japanese term for "sympathy for a tragic hero", Hōgan-biiki (判官贔屓, lit. Hōgan favor), comes from Yoshitsune's title Kurō Hōgan (九郎判官), which he received from the Imperial Court.

Many of the literary pieces that Yoshitsune appears in are legend rather than historical fact. Legends pertaining to Yoshitsune first began to appear in the fourteenth century. In early works at that time, Yoshitsune was described as a sharp-witted military leader. Then, romantic stories about his early childhood and last years of his life appeared as people began to know more about him.

The legends that deal with his public career show Yoshitsune as a great, virtuous warrior. He was often shown as kind to those around him and honorable, but was also shown to be naive.

Date: 1861

Publisher: Hiranoya Shinzô (Aikindô)

Condition: Very good impression, not backed, trimmed as shown.

Blockcutter: Yokokawa Takejirô (Hori Take)