KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

Ryugujo: Tawara Toda Returning From the Dragon King’s Palace With Three Gifts
Signed: Ichiyosai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Kagi-sho
circa 1861

triptych. Good impression and colors. A few holes, light soiling, and other minor flaws but generally good condition.


Tawara Toda riding a minogame (raincoat) turtle being escorted back from the Dragon King's Palace by various sea creatures with three treasures: rolls of silk that could not be shortened by cutting, an inexhaustible bag of rice, and the bell that was later hung at Miidera. These were his rewards for killing the giant centipede at Seta. 

Tawara Toda is the fictional name given to a real 10th century warrior of the powerful Fujiwara family: Fujiwara Hidesato. Hidesato is best-known for the defeat of Taira Masakado, and the centipede in the story is perhaps a metaphor for Masakado. This is one of Kuniyoshi’s last and boldest triptychs.

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