This volume is the first monograph in English to feature all 74 known designs from Kuniyosahi's celebrated series The one hundred and eight heroes of the watermargin (Tsûzoku Suikoden gôketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori).
As the dust jacket states, "The Suikoden (commonly known in English as The water margin) is the Japanese adaptation of the 14th-century Chinese vernacular novel, the Shuihu zhuan, which recounts the exploits of a group of rebels on Mount Liang ... under the leadership of the brave an righteous Song Jiang. The Suikoden was enormously popular in Japan during the 19th century. It was Kuniyoshi's initisl designs for the singe sheet series The one hundred and eight heroes of the watermargin (Tsûzoku Suikoden gôketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori) — in which the full-length portraits of the heroes are charged with a new sense of synamism — that spurred a Suikoden craze in Edo.... Of brigands and bravery reproduces the 74 known designs of the series in full colour; each is accompanied by an explanatory text. The publication also offers supplementary information on topics relating specifically to the series such as tattooing.... In addition, Kuniyoshi's illustration of a variety of armour and dress types, his at times graphic portrayal of the heroes in battle and his integration of Western stylistic devices are testimony to the creative genius behind the Suikoden series."
This is a much sought-after reference book whose price for the hard-cover edition continues to climb in the marketplace.
Hotei Publishing (Leiden, The Netherlands); 1998 (first printing); hardcover (blue cloth); like new, but missing its dust jacket; illustrations primarily in color; 199pp.; ISBN: 90-74822-08-8.