A modern version of act seven from the Kanadehon Chushingura. - ROM2015_14872_1


A modern version of act seven from the Kanadehon Chushingura.

Medium:7-colour block print on paper
Geography: Japan
Date: 1770 - 1775
Period: Edo period
67.2 x 12 cm
Object number: 926.18.157
Credit Line: Sir Edmund Walker Collection
Not on view
DescriptionThis is a playful adaptation of the Chūshingura scene, identified by Yuranosuke’s family crest on the wakashu’s robe. Here, the artist has retained the third, bottom figure, but has transformed him into a crab. The baskets behind the wakashu’s feet may suggest that he has been gathering the crustaceans, suggesting erotic connotations. It is unclear what is in the young woman’s hand; some commentators believe it is still a mirror; others think it is a picture. If the former, then it appears to be reflecting the moon over a rooftop. Since this version includes no lantern, she may be illuminating the letter for the wakashu. On the other hand, if the writing on the letter is written in reverse, as some versions of the Chūshingura tale suggest, it would be easier for the young woman to read reflected in a mirror. The wakashu’s hairstyle is typical of the period, with jutting sidelocks not dissimilar to women’s fashion.
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