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Ashiyuki (芦幸)

Arashi Kitsusaburô II as Hotei Ichiemon in Otokodate itsutsu karigane, Naka Theater, Osaka
Gigadô Ashiyuki ga
Wataki (Wataya Kihei, 綿屋喜兵衞)
(H x W)
Oban nishiki-e
37.7 x25.5 cm
Very good
Excellent color and good condition (blind embossing, unbacked; two expertly filled wormholes in pink ground, slight rubbing)
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry (Ref #ASY11)


The play Otokodate itsutsu karigane ("Karigane’s five brave and chivalrous men": 男作五雁金) was written for the puppet theater by Takeda Izumo II and premiered in 9/1742 at the Takemoto Theater. It was one of the most popular Karigane gonin otoko mono ("Karigane’s five-men plays": 雁金五人男物) about so-called otokodate (chivalrous commoners, literally "standing men": 男伊達 or 男作). The real-life Karigane gonin were members of a loosely knit gang of 11 or more outlaws led by Karigane Bunshichi. Guilty of beatings, theft, and murder spanning several years, they were executed on 8/26/1702. Takeda’s drama helped to mythologize these criminals and transform them from street thugs into heroes.

Arashi Kitsusaburô was an earlier name used by Arashi Rikan II until 1828.


Hotei Ichiemon holds portable paper lantern (chôchin) with the character Ho and a cloth sack, emblematic of the otokodate's namesake, Hotei, one of the Seven Lucky Gods (Shichifukujin). The treasure-sack motif is repeated as crests on each shoulder of the blue robe. The end of a shakuhachi (wooden flute: 尺八) is visible at Hotei's back, an accessory often associated with the Karigane gonin. There is an unusual mottled pink background behind Kitsusaburô.


Okada (a celebrated private Japanese collection not seen in public for more than 70 years until its recent dispersal — a blockbuster event in the world of kamigata-e; see KAM).

References: KNZ, no. 324; WAS I-4, no. 250; KNP-6, p. 125; IKB-I, no. 2-392