#Artist: #Utagawa #Kunisada ( #歌川国貞 ) / #Toyokuni III ( #三代豊国 )
#Print: Ōmori Hikoshichi (大森彦七) carries a demon disguised as a beautiful woman
Dates: circa 1843 - 1846
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.0 in
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print
Signed: Kōchō(rō) Kunisada ga
Publisher: Moritaya Hanzō
Censor's seal: kiwame in the yellow cartouche
Censor's seal: Hama (1843-46) in the lower left of the print
“Omori Hikoshichi (lived about 1340), a vassal of Shogun Ashikaga Takaugi (1305-58), offered to assist a beautiful maiden on her way to a celebration of his victory of Emperor Go Daigo (reigned 1319-38). As he gallantly carried her across a stream, Omori glanced at her reflection in the water and saw that she had turned into a witch, whereupon he slew her with his sword.” Quoted from: Netsuke: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Barbra Teri Okada, 1982, p. 32.
It should be noted that there are numerous, divergent variations of this tale and that the woman did not necessarily turn into a 'witch' but already was one revealed only through her reflection.
The uroko gata or triangular blue and white snake-scale pattern of the demon's billowing garment might be a visual give-away as to her true nature.
There is a Hama censor seal inscribed in the lower left gray background which indicates this is a re-issue of the original circa 1832 edition published by Moritaya Hanzō. Since Moritaya ceased business around 1835, we are uncertain who published this example (from the original blocks). Perhaps Ebisuya (Ebisuya Shōchichi - Marks 039) as the vendor cited.
#japanesewoodblockprint #japaneseprint #woodblockprint #woodcut #ukiyoe #demon #demons #witch