Nakamura Tomijūrō V as Kō no Moronao in Act 3 of ‘Kanadehon Chūshingura’
This print is based on the play Chûshingura or the Loyal 47 retainers, which is arguably the most popular and best loved story in Japanese history. Kôno Moronao who is depicted in this print, is the most hated of its characters. In Act Three, Kôno, who has been rejected by the wife of Enya, his collegue who is too upright to appease Kôno with gifts or any other forms of flattery, provokes Enya so badly that he draws his sword within the castle - a strictly prohibited act. In the following acts, Enya is ordered to kill himself and his fief confiscated. Enya's chamberlain and other 46 of the now masterless retainers plan a revenge, and succeeds in killing Kôno in the last act.
Tsuruya Kôkei was the official artist for the Kabuki Theatre.
Asian Art Dept, AGNSW, August 1999.
Place where the work was made
Shôwa period 1926 - 1988 → Japan
colour woodcut with mica
38.9 x 25.0 cm
Signature & date
Signed and dated in Japanese, upper part of image [incised on block] "Shôwa 61 nen 9 gatsu kinsei ... Tsuruya Kôkei [Respectfully made in September 1986 Tsuruya Kôkei]" [and two artist's seals]".
Bequest of Kenneth Myer 1995
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Heroes and Villains, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 May 2001–19 Aug 2001
Referenced in 1 publication
Heroes and villains: from Japan's floating world, Sydney, May 2001, 7. cat.no. 1.49