Hirosada, Kataoka Gado as Hayana Kanpei from Kanadehon Chushingura

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Kataoka Gado as Hayana Kanpei from Kanadehon Chushingura, 1849. Deluxe Chuban.

Another portrait from the Chushingura by Hirosada. This picture shows the tragic character of Hayana Kanpei, one of the 47 Ronin. After the dishonorable death of his master, Asano, Kanpei was one of the two retainers to make the urgent journey home in four days to report the event. Following the surrender of the castle, Kanpei joined Kuranosuke's party of vengeful Ronin and then retired to his family's home to await instruction. Once he was there, his family arranged for him to go into service for another lord, an appointment that would have prevented his participation in the league's attack on Kira, the nobleman responsible for Asano’s death. Unable to tell his parents of this dilemma, Kanpei was caught between two crimes: shaming his family and severing his vows of loyalty to Asano. With no other recourse, Kanpei sent a letter to Kuranosuke explaining his situation and killed himself. Hirosada here shows the thoughtful Kanpei in the traditional spotted robes against a sombre blue background. Kanpei represents the tragedy of the ordinary man and the samurai - torn between duty and emotion.

A fine Osaka portrait, typical of Hirosada’s late, confident style. Full size with margins, some toning to the edges otherwise colour, impression and condition are all fine.

18cm x 25cm.