This is a particularly fine impression with prominent wood grain and embossing (karazuri). The print title reflects the caution exercised by printmakers in the late 1840s-1850s after the ban against theatrical prints imposed by the Tenpô Reforms (Tenpô kaikaku) of 1842-1847 initiated by Mizuno Tadakuni (1774-1851), chief councilor (rôjû) to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyoshi. Many works by Osaka artists, particularly Utagawa Hirosada, included chûkô ("loyalty and filial piety") in their titles to suggest a righteous historical subject and place a thin veil of propriety over what were actually actor portraits. No one was fooled, of course, but publishers and artists could take refuge in following the letter of the law.
中判 大首絵 (25.0 x 17.5 cm)