Description Kyosai here turns "seppuku" (ritualized suicide) into something treated humorously: suicide by disembowelment is about to be performed on a blowfish. This print represents a scene from a play that parodies one of the most popular dramas in Japan, "Kanadehon Chushingura." Based on a true story, the original play is about forty-seven loyal samurai sworn to avenge their master's death. In Act 5, the father-in-law of Kampei, one of the samurai, is robbed and murdered by a bandit. Kampei, however, mistakenly thinks he himself is responsible, and so in Act 6 he performs "seppuku."
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] Shosho Kyosai
Credit Gift of Justine Lewis Keidel, 1991
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