The actor Bandō Hikosaburō IV as Orikoshi Masatomo (C) attacked by the ghost of Asakura Tōgo played by Ichikawa Kodanji IV
1797 - 1861
The kabuki performance associated with this image was based on events that took place in 1653. In art and theatre of the 1840s and 1850s, names and places of historical figures were often changed to avoid censorship while remaining recognisable. In this instance, Asakura Tōgo is based on Sakura Sōgo (Sōgorō), a village leader who protested the poor conditions of local farmers. For his heroism, Sakura Sōgo and several of his family members were put to death. He swore revenge from beyond the grave. Here, as the bloodied ghost of Asakura Tōgo, he appears on each sheet of the triptych print, haunting the man who instructed his murder, the feudal lord Orikoshi Masatomo (the historical Hotta Masanobu).
The ghost of Asakura Togo
Bando Hikosaburo IV as Orikoshi Masatomo being attacked by the ghost of Asakura Togo, played by Ichikawa Kodanji IV in 'The Story of Sakura of Higashiyama' ('Higashiyama Sakura Zōshi')
Place where the work was made
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper, triptych
overall 35.8 x 76.5 cm :
a - right sheet, 35.8 x 24 cm
b - centre sheet, 35.8 x 24 cm
c - left sheet, 35.8 x 24 cm
Signature & date
Sheet A: Signed and dated 'Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga, published by Hayashiya Shogoro, 1851'.
Sheet B: Signed and dated 'Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga, published by Hayashiya Shogoro, 1851'.
Sheet C: Signed and dated 'Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga, published by Hayashiya Shogoro, 1851'.
Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2018
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Japan Supernatural, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Nov 2019–08 Mar 2020