Eishōsai Chōki (栄松斎長喜) (artist )
Okaru (おかる) and Yuranosuke (由良之助) in a scene from the Chūshingura
4.75 in x 23.25 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Shiko hitsu
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ritsumeikan University - black and white reproduction
While this hashira-e is signed 'Shiko hitsu' this artist is better known as Choki.
This print is illustrated in Japanese Pillar Prints by Jacob Pins, #846, p. 303.
Donald Keene quoted in Worlds Within Walls on page 458 that a critic from 1816 said:
Up to seventy or eighty years ago the amorous play of men and women was suggested by an exchange of glances; if the man ever took the woman's hand, she would cover her face with her sleeve in embarrassment. That was all there was to it, but even so, old people of the time are said to have been shocked by what they deemed to be an unsightly exhibition. Women in the audience were also very modest, and would blush even at the famous scene in Chūshingura in which Yuranosuke takes Okaru in his arms as he helps her down the ladder. Nowadays sexual intercourse is plainly shown on the stage, and women in the audience watch on, unblushing, taking it in their stride. It is most immoral.
pillar prints (hashira-e - 柱絵) (genre)
Chūshingura (忠臣蔵 - 47 rōnin) (genre)