Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: No. 23 (廿三): Katsuta Shinzaemon Taketaka (勝多真左衛門武尭) from the series Biographies of Loyal and Righteous Samurai (Seichu gishi den - 誠忠義士傳)

Bookmark and Share
Dates: 1847,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Artist's seal: kiri
Publisher: Ebiya Rinnosuke
(Marks 040 - seal not listed)
Censor's seal: Mera and Murata
Number 23: 廿三

Related links: British Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Waseda University; Tokyo Metropolitan Library; British Museum - another Kuniyoshi print from 1857 devoted to this same character; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University;

Physical description:

The dentate pattern on this print is a give away that it is a Chūshingura-themed prints. But not all prints devoted to this story show these designs. "The distinctive dentate pattern on the coats is an iconographical motif which represents the inescapable progress of day and night, symbolizing unfailing loyalty."

Quoted from: 'Mitate kokkei Chūshingura. Hiroshige's humorous parodies of the Loyal Retainers' by Pierre Wijermans and Henk Herwig, fn. 32, p. 73.


There is another copy of this print in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in Australia.


Illustrated in Kuniyoshi: The Faithful Samurai by David R. Weinberg, 2000, #I.23.