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Kuwana: The Story of the Sailor Tokuzō
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Kuwana: The Story of the Sailor Tokuzō

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description The Sea Monk (Umi Bozu) is a sea monster with a smooth round head, like the shaven head of a Buddhist monk. This woodblock print illustrates the story of the sailor Kawanaya Tokuzo, who decides to go to sea on the last day of the year, which other sailors consider unlucky. A violent storm breaks out, and the Umi Bozu appears. In a ghastly voice the apparition demands, "Name the most horrible thing you know!" Tokuzo yells back, "My profession is the most horrible thing I know!" The monster is apparently satisfied with this answer and disappears along with the storm.
  • Setting Sail: Drawings of the Sea from WAM. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2011.
  • Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Art of Collaboration. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2018-2019.
Provenance C. Robert Snell, Oriental Arts & Antiques, Timonium, Maryland; purchased by Justine Lewis Keidel, Owings Mills, Maryland, after 1971; given to Walters Art Museum, 1991.
Inscriptions [Signature] Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga; [Transcription] Funanori Tokuzo no den
Credit Gift of Justine Lewis Keidel, 1991

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ca. 1845-1846 (late Edo)
ink and color on mulberry paper
Accession Number
H: 14 1/4 x W: 9 3/4 in. (36.2 x 24.77 cm)
  • Japan (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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