Ôishizuri sakura tanzaku (大西摺桜花短冊) may be translated as "Oishi's stone rubbing, a poem card, and cherry blossoms." Although the plot remains unknown, some role names (such as the virtuous wives Oishi and Osono, or Okaru's brother, Teraoka Heiemon), which are inscribed on prints produced by various artists for this 3/1822 production, suggest that the plot was adapted from the most famous of all revenge plays, Kanadehon chûshingura (Copybook of the treasury of loyal retainers: 假名手本忠臣蔵). The production was announced as a big hit (ôatari: 大当) on other woodblock prints, and it proved to be quite a popular subject for leading artists such as Kunihiro, Hokushû and his pupils Shunchô and Shunsho (later Shun'yô), and Yoshikuni and his pupils Mitsukuni and Hikokuni.
The two, protagonists have drawn their wakizashi (short swords: 脇差), with Utaemon holding his wakizashi clenched between his teeth and Ebijûrô raising his above his head. Chônin (townsmen: 町人) were permitted to wear short swords, but not katana (long swords: 刀), which were reserved for samurai.
The yellow ground is well preserved in this impression and overall the colors are very good. The size is exceptional, with borders visible at the top and left. Another impression is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (11.36012).
References: MFAB, accession #11.36012