Ōtani Furuinosuke from the series One of the Eight Hundred Heroes of the Water Margin of Japan (Honchō Suikoden gōketsu happyakunin no hitori)

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1798-1861)
Publisher: Ibaya Senzaburō 伊場屋仙三郎 (act. ca. 1845-1847)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1845
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 38.3 x 26.5 cm (15 1/16 x 10 7/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, boar, child, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hero, Japan, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

Young boy heroes with exceptional strength are featured in Japanese legend and among the heroes of Kuniyoshi's famous series based on the Chinese novel The Water Margin. The hero shown here, Otani Koinosuke, lost his father and had to care for his aged mother on his own. He had extraordinary strength and became a woodcutter when he grew older. When he was fifteen, he captured a wild boar that hunters could not bring down with their arrows, and used his bare hands to crush its skull. Kuniyoshi employs the swirling composition seen here in many of his images of warriors and heroes.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 75, pp. 202-205.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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