The play Aikikyô Karigane gomon (The medicinal root and Karigane's five crests: 藍桔梗雁金五紋) is one of various Karigane gonin otoko mono ("Karigane's five-men plays"), an adaptation of earlier plays about the historical Karigane gonin ("Karigane five"), members of an infamous gang of eleven or more outlaws led by Karigane Bunshichi. After a crime spree lasting several years, they were captured and executed in 1702. Kabuki playwrights transformed these street thugs into otokodate ("standing men": 男伊達), heroic defenders of the townspeople, protectors against troublemaking, low-ranking samurai called hatamoto yakko ("bannermen’s footmen": 旗本奴). On the theatrical stage, otokodate and the hatamoto yakko were often portrayed in street fights and intrigues, with other scenes depicting them in the pleasure quarters or gambling dens.
Yoshitaki's design was published in a highly unusual, nearly square format. It is a relatively early work by the artist with limited and effective use of aniline dyes.
References: IBKYS-5, no. 89