Suikoden (水滸傳) (genre )

Outlaws of the Marsh
The Water Margins



"The Suikoden is the fourteenth century Shuihu Zhuan (The Water Margins), the story of 108 outlaws of the Song period who band together to fight corrupt officials and save poor peasants. Part of it was edited to be read as Japanese and published in 1728; from 1757 to 1790 it was published in whole as Tsūzoku chūgi suikoden (The Faithful and Just Men of the Water Margin for Everyman)—with illustrations. It created a boom of its own. The Yamato kotoba suikoden (The Tales of the Water Margin in Japanese Words) was staged in Osaka in 1776. Stories about Japanese modeled on them began to appear in the titles of Kōdan and novels and illustration books about contemporary outlaws or dropouts of one sort or the other—especially toward the end of the Tokugawa period and into the Meiji period: Tenpō suikoden (1820–1834?) of 1844, Kaiei suikoden (1850–¡854), Shunketsu shintō suikoden (1828–¡882), Keisei suikoden (The Beauties of the Water Margin, by Kyokutei Bakin; 1825–¡835), Kinsei suikoden (Modern Tales of the Water Margin; 1861), and Suikoden jigoku mawari (Tales of Wandering through the Hell of the Water Margin; 1864). However, it was a series of woodblock prints that fired the craze, Utagawa Kuniyoshi's c. 1827 illustrations of the original Japanese edition. Other illustration series included the Tsūzoku suikoden goketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori—Rorihakucho Chōjun (1820s) of Utagawa Kuniyoshi and the Tosei suikoden (1851) and Kinsei suikoden (1861) of Kunisada Toyokuni III."

Quoted from: The Japanese Period Film: A Critical Analysis by S.A. Thornton, p. 98.

[Much more will be added shortly.]