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Artist: Shunbaisai Hokuei (春梅斎北英)

Print: Arashi Rikan II (嵐璃寛) as Oguri Hangan (小栗判官)
astride is steed, Onikage [鬼鹿毛]

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Dates: created,1833
Dimensions: 10.375 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Inscription:

Signed: Shunkōsai Hokuei ga
春江斎北英画
Publisher: Honsei (Honya Seishichi)
(Marks 123 - seal 25-527)

Related links: Google map - Fujisawa ward - look for Enoshima at the bottom; Hankyu Culture Foundation; Museum of Fine Arts - Sadatora print of Okura Hangan Sukeshige on Onikage; Lyon Collection - Nobukatsu print of Oguri Hangan;Lyon Collection - Shigeharu print of Oguri Hangan;

Physical description:

Arashi Rikan II as Oguri Hangan in Hime kurabe futaba ezōshi (姫競双葉絵草紙 - "Picturte-book comparison of twin blades and the princess") performed at the Naka Theater, Osaka in 1/1833.

Background:

"This dramatic portrayal is one of Hokuei's most animated single sheets. Oguri rides his black steed, Onikage, into the sea at Fujisawa (station no. 7 along the Tôkaidô) in Sagami Province, with the island of Enoshima in Sagami Bay and Mt. Fuji in the distance. Oguri was celebrated for his horsemanship; many portraits show him on Onikage, a fierce equine that could be controlled only by Oguri. (Other popular images in various media depict Oguri with his horse standing on a goban or go board). The play was one of the Oguri Hangan mono ("Oguri Hangan plays"), their plots based on various Oguri legends as well as the military chronicle Kamakura daizôshi ("Great copybook of Kamakura") concerning the master of the Hitachi Castle, Oguri Hangan no Sukeshige, and his wife Yokoyama Terute-hime. Oguri's father Oguri Mitsushige, a provincial daimyô, failed in his revolt against the ruling Ashikaga clan, whereupon father and son were forced into hiding."

This information is taken directly from the seller, Osakaprints.com.

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Illustrated in Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 1, Ikeda Bunko Library, Osaka 1997, no. 306.

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There are other prints in the Lyon Collection from this play's production in 1833. Another one is by Hokuei (#1205) and one by Kunihiro (#1090).

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Onikage (鬼鹿毛) literally means 'fawn-colored demon horse'. Clearly Hokuei has taken artistic license here in making it into a black steed.