Image Resources | Currently on View in Frances Parker Appel Gallery (K305)
湧髪長五郎 (right) 長吉姉お関 (left)
Nuregami Chōgorō was a sumō wrestler, and Oseki is the sister of his friend and former rival, Chōkichi. The figures are dramatically placed against a background of blue and white. Chōgorō's fierce demeanor and powerful stance with swinging tassels on the bottom fringe of his wrestler's apron contrast starkly with the demure, contained pose of Oseki.
The foxing patterns and the worm hole indicate that the prints were stored face to face. Metallic elements in the pigment used for Oseki's robe have oxidized, creating a tarnished appearance. The strength and beauty of the composition outweigh the compromised condition of the prints, attesting to the excellence of their design and execution.
Signed Toyokuni ga within a toshidama cartouche
The Soga Brothers Cutting Down Ten [Retainers of Kudō Suketsune] (Soga jūban kiri no zu)
Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786-1864)