Eight Hundred Heroes of a Japanese Water Margin, All Told: Otani Koinosuke

Maker(s)
Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1798-1861)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1830-36
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 38.3 x 26.5 cm (15 1/16 x 10 7/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.157
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

Keywords
Anne van Biema collection, boar, child, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hero, Japan, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

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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