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Wada Shizuma, Kobei's daughter Osode, and a houseman of the Sawai Family

Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786-1864)


In 1634 the master swordsman Araki Mataemon and his nephew Watanabe Kazuma faced numerous opponents and succeeded in cutting down Kawai Matagorō, who murdered Kazuma's father. In this kabuki play based on that incident, Watanabe Kazuma's name is changed to Wada Shizuma. Osode, betrothed to Matagorō, whom she has never met, falls in love with Shizuma who is pretending to be Matagorō.

This is a finely executed pair of prints with novel subject matter (the houseman is using the telescope to spy on others). The freshness of the colors indicates their pristine condition. The finely executed printing with excellent registration allows one to fully appreciate the linework of the drawings and especially the color patterns of the textiles. 

Signed Toyokuni ga within a toshidama cartouche

dealer obtained the print at auction

Object Information

Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786-1864)
creation date
color woodblock print
a) 14 5/8 x 9 11/16 in. | b) 14 7/16 x 9 3/4 in.
mark descriptions
Engraver's mark: Hori Shoji
Censor's seal: (Sheep 1st month) [date: 1859]
accession number
credit line
Works on Paper Group and the Mary Margaret Tomlinson Memorial Fund
Public Domain
Asian Art

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