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Archive: Ashiyuki (芦幸)

(R) Ichikawa Danzô V as Hagizuka Narutonosuke and Bandô Jûtarô I as Hamana Oribe; (M) Otani Tomoemon II as Ogata Rikimaru and Asao Gakujûrô as Fukushima Saemon; (L) Arashi Kitsusaburô II as Hakata no Shimazô in Momochidori naruto no shiranami at the Naka Theater, Osaka
Ashiyuki ga
No artist seal
(R) Kichi and Honsei (Honya Seishichi: 本屋清七); (M) Toshin; (L) Honsei (Honya Seishichi: 本屋清七)
(H x W)
Oban triptych nishiki-e
37.3 x 77.3 cm
Good, with mica sprinkles and karazuri (blind printing)
Very good color (purple slightly faded); good condition (a few tiny wormholes; somewhat trimmed; slight vertical album fold on left edge of each sheet; not backed)
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry (Ref #ASY04)


Ashiyuki designed at least six compositions for this production (see IBKYS-I, nos. 229-234, in the Bibliography).

This design is an example of two or more publishers sharing the production of polyptychs, which was fairly common in kamigata-e.


Ashiyuki's dramatic scene features a lantern (andon) held aloft to illuminate the protagonists with a widening cone of light rimmed with pink and contrasted against a black night sky. The mixed postures (mie) of the actors produce a rhythmic tableau, as they variously hoist the andon, grip their swords (katana), kneel behind a straw raincoat, and clench a long banner between the teeth or pull it with a fist.

By the mid 1820s most Osaka artists had moved on from the blockier style of figure drawing to more fluid portrayals, and it is interesting to compare the merits of the younger Ashiyuki with those evident in this work.

References: IBKYS-I, no. 233; KNZ, no. 317; IKB-I, no. 2-391; KNP-6, p. 125